ALTHOUGH the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week said it had commenced distribution of the newly redesigned naira notes to Deposit Money Banks across the country, commercial banks in major cities in Nigeria are still struggling with limited availability as they began dispensing a few redesigned naira notes to over-the-counter customers.
When Nigerian Tribune visited some banks on Victoria Island and Oshodi in Lagos on Thursday, some customers who were paid the newly redesigned naira notes said the notes were not enough to meet their demands, while all Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) continued dispensing old notes as usual.
CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, a week ago disclosed in a chat with newsmen after he visited President Muhammadu Buhari that the new currencies had reached the banks and that the banks would soon distribute those currencies to members of the public who are their customers.
Emefiele had visited Buhari to assure the president that things were going on well about the currency as well as issues bordering on the newly introduced cashless policy.
A top bank executive in one of the new generation banks told the Nigerian Tribune that the lender dispensed newly redesigned notes across the counter today, “but not much.”
Some bank customers who spoke to Nigerian Tribune said it was not a surprise because the CBN governor had earlier said the apex bank would insist that cashless policy would be 100 per cent nationwide and that it would restrict the volume of cash that people can withdraw over the counter.
“If you need to withdraw a large volume of cash, you will fill uncountable forms. We will take your data, whether it is your BVN or your NIN so that enforcement agencies like EFCC or ICPC can follow you and be sure that you are taking that money for good purpose,” Emefiele had said.
However, he also assured that with time, the new notes would go round, stressing that the old currency continues to be legal tender till January 31, 2023.
“Both the painted and unpainted currencies will operate concurrently as legal tender but by January 31, the unpainted one will not be useful to you again. So please take it to your banks as early as possible.”
The CBN governor disclosed that the president is satisfied with the progress made so far and “no need to fear, no need to bother about anybody,” Emefiele stressed.
Commercial banks were directed by the CBN to commence the circulation of the much awaited newly redesigned Naira notes to customers across the country from December 15.
This is coming after Emefiele revealed that the new notes had been sent to banks, while insisting that the timelines – in terms of December 15 for commencement and the January 31 deadline – were sacrosanct.
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