The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered Deposit Money Banks to immediately stop the payment of the new naira notes to customers who are making over-the-counter withdrawals.
NewsBeatng reports that CBN directed that the banks should load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with only new notes to ensure that the currency circulates across the country ahead of the January 31, 2023 deadline when the old notes will no longer be legal tender.
This might not be unconnected with the various reports of frustrations expressed by the general public who have been experiencing difficulty in having access to these new naira notes 3 weeks to the expiration of the deadline.
It was gathered that the s directive was contained in a memo issued by the CBN to the banks on Wednesday, where it ordered that the implementation must commence immediately.
However, it seems that the banks were yet to comply with this directive as of Friday with complaints of inadequate supply of the new notes, prompting them to load their ATMs with the old notes.
According to the PUNCH report on the directive, a source in one of the tier-1 banks who acknowledged the directive from the CBN stated that her bank on Thursday issued a memo in that respect to all the branch managers to enforce the CBN order.
The memo, which was titled, ‘Urgent update on currency redesign’ and signed by the Group Head, Retail Operation, stated, “The CBN has mandated that we immediately stop the Over-the-Counter payment of the new N200, N500 & N,1000 currency. Instead, all new notes should be loaded into the ATMs for customer withdrawals.
“This is effective immediately please.”
It would be recalled that on November 23, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new naira notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, with their circulation commencing in December.
However, due to the scarcity or inadequate supply of these new naira notes majority of Nigerians and many stakeholders have called on the CBN to extend the January 31 deadline as it will not be feasible for these new notes to adequately circulate around the country at that time.