Some officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday took the sensitisation campaign on the redesigned naira notes to some churches in Warri and Effurun in Delta State.

Leader of the sensitization team, Mr Sunny Daibo, CBN’s Deputy Director of Finance, said that the idea was to enable the team to educate larger crowds on the new cashless policy.

Diablo, who represented the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, in the ongoing exercise, enlightened the congregation at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church, Effurun, on the need to embrace the new cashless policy and ensure they met the deadline.

The CBN has, meanwhile, extended the deadline for the return of old naira notes to February 10.

Daibo, speaking with newsmen shortly after enlightening the congregation, said the team also distributed flyers to the worshippers

“We have visited so many communities on this awareness drive and today we decided to focus on the church because that is where we can get large crowd to listen to us,” Daibo said.

“This is a very good opportunity to let the people know about the new policy. The message is clear and well communicated to the worshippers

“The message is that those that still have the old notes should go and deposit them. Banks opened today (Sunday) from 11:00 a.m, so as soon as the church service closed, they should take the old naira notes to their banks.

“On the issue of not getting the new naira notes, it is a matter of time, we have told the commercial banks to ensure they give out the new currency notes,” he said.

He emphasized that at the moment, the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes would cease to be legal tender after the expiration of the deadline and urged Nigerians to ensure they deposit their old notes before midnight of February 10.

Diablo said the apex bank gave enough time of about three months for people to deposit their old notes and wondered why people were still waiting till the last minute.

The team leader noted that similar policy was done in India within 72 hours and the people complied.

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He suggested that the people in the rural areas could take their money and register with the Point of Sales (PoS) operators in their localities, who would, in turn, take the money to the bank for them.

“By the time the PoS operator collects new cash, he will be able to distribute to those he registered. So PoS can assist so that those people will not have their money expired,” Diablo said.

He, however, said the apex bank had no control over the operations of the PoS, noting that one essence of the cashless policy was to bring more people into the banking space and also encourage cashless transaction.

He said the CBN no longer encouraged people to take huge sums of money to the bank and expect to withdrew same immediately following the new cash withdrawal policy, reasons being the cost of managing currency and the associated disadvantages of carrying cash.

He listed some of the benefits of the cashless policy to include efficient monetary policy management; elimination of corruption; reducing counterfeiting; reducing criminality, discouraging stocking of money at home, among others.

“We cannot continue to do things in the old ways and expect different results. We must do something in the new ways. With this policy every Nigerian can now open bank account easily,” he said.

The sensitisation team, thereafter, moved to the Word of Life Bible Church, Ajamimogha Community in Warri South Local Government Area, to sensitise the worshippers on the policy.

The team was received by a group of ministers in the church who told the CBN officials that they had been sensitizing their members on the apex bank’s policy and the deadline on the use of old naira notes.

“Thanks for coming to our church. We have been educating our members on the deadline, they are very much aware.

“However, at the moment, we still accept the old notes as offerings from them because we have a microfinance bank,” they said.

The CBN officials, thereafter, gave them flyers to be distributed among the worshippers.