The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has decided to reach out to Nigerians via Short Messaging Service reminding them of the deadline date to deposit old naira notes.
The apex bank in the text messages stated that it was serious about the cessation of the circulation of old naira notes on January 31, 2023.
As at Tuesday, 17 January 2023, there were only 14 days left before the December 31, 2023 deadline for Nigerians to return the old naira notes.
The message reads: “Don’t wait till January 31, 2023, to deposit your old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes with your bank or agent.”
CBN further asked customers to visit its website for fresh updates on the development regarding the old naira notes.
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While the apex bank gesture to reach out to Nigerians via their mobile phone are well thought of it comes at a cost
Checks from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) shows that there are 218 million (218,953,849) mobile subscribers in Nigeria.
Should CBN choose to reach out to all via bulk SMS Corporate Route (DND Route) which is 0.74k per unit the 218,953,849 for one straight message will be N162 million.
Some Nigerians have reported seeing the messages three times in the last few days.
What this means is that CBN could be spending N486 million alone to remind Nigerians to return the old naira notes.
CBN moves against reality
While the CBN has consistently reiterated that it has no plans to extend the January deadline date many Nigerians are yet to see the new notes with banks complaining of shortages.
Most ATMs in Ikotun, Ago Palace, and several other locations are still dispensing the old naira notes to customers.
One banker told Ripples Nigeria that the new naira notes available at the bank are not enough to meet demands.