The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) launches an awareness campaign on the need for the disposal of ₦1,000, ₦500, and ₦200 old Naira notes before the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) January 31st deadline across 17 chiefdoms in Abuja.
The sensitization campaign, which aimed at disseminating information about the CBN’s new currency policy, was launched on Wednesday by the FCTA through the Department of Reformed Coordination and Service Improvement (RCSI), focusing on residents in the rural part of the state in collaboration with traditional rulers.
Explaining the initiative during a visit to the Palaces of Sarkin Bwari and Esu Bwari, Abuja, Mr. Fatai Bello, who led the FCTA team of RCSI, said the FCT Administration, under the leadership of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, was concerned that as the January 31 deadline is fast approaching, the new currency policy of the CBN might not have reached the rural communities of the FCT.
In his statement, he said, “The campaign is being carried out in the 17 Chiefdoms of the FCT across the six Area Councils. We already have the jingles running on most of the radio stations, so the message is getting down to the target group, who are receiving the message quite well.
It is our responsibility as the Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Department, for which we run a 24/7 call center, to receive via calls some of the questions and concerns raised during the visit to the Chiefs.
We have a mechanism by which we pass these concerns to the appropriate authorities, and get feedback.
We are going to review some of the issues raised particularly those that are directly concerned with the CBN for us to be able to get feedback from the CBN, and we promise that within 24 hours, we are going to get back to them, having taken the necessary steps”.
However, at the Sa Bwaya palace in Bwari, the Esu Bwari, HRH Ibrahim Yaro, who commended the FCT Minister for the sensitization effort, stated they have been trying their best to see that people having old notes in their houses should take them to the banks on or before the deadline.”
In his statement, “So, we need to still enlighten our people with this message, which we try to send across the chiefdoms through the village and district heads, who will speak with people in their respective domains.
Although time is short, we know that nothing good comes easy, because some people will suffer, but after suffering, we will enjoy it. So we, the traditional rulers, with your support, will do the necessary thing to ensure that our people comply with the directive”.
On his part, Sarkin Bwari, Alh. Awwal Musa Muhammad Ijakoro noted that although the government doesn’t intend to hurt the common man, they are the ones that suffers most from the implementation of the policy within the stipulated time.
He suggested that the government could consider the provision of cash collection centers in rural areas, so as to help ameliorate the hardships that the people go through to deposit their old currencies in the banks outside their settlements.
Meanwhile, a Bwari resident, Vincent Yusuf, community leaders can help coordinate the monies of the people to take to the banks in order to avoid the long queues, adding that POS operators should be given special treatment because they are closer to the common people.
The highlight of the event was a dialogue between the administration and the people of Bwari, where issues and challenges were discussed, as well as open-air street sensitization to prevent people from having outdated notes after the deadline and insist they take their money to banks before the deadline.