‘Only on ATMs’ — CBN stops over-the-counter withdrawal of redesigned naira notes

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks in the country to load their automated teller machines (ATMs) with the redesigned naira notes in a bid to boost circulation.

 

The apex bank also ordered the banks to halt dispensing the new currency notes over-the-counter.

 

Disclosing this in a phone interview with TheCable on Saturday, Osita Nwasinobi, CBN’s spokesperson, said the new directive takes effect immediately.

 

He explained that the attention of the apex bank was drawn to complaints from Nigerians who have not been able to access the redesigned notes since the banks started dispensing them on December 15, 2022.

 

The CBN spokesperson said the directive was given to increase the circulation of the new naira notes across the country ahead of the January 31, 2023 deadline to phase out the old notes.

 

“The CBN is concerned about claims by Nigerians that they had not come in contact with the new notes and therefore, directed the banks to ensure that they load their ATMs with new notes,” Nwasinobi said.

 

“This will ensure quick and wider circulation of the new notes across Nigeria.”

 

 ‘ENOUGH SUPPLY OF REDESIGNED NAIRA NOTES’

 

Responding to the claim that the new notes were in short supply in banks, Nwasinobi described it as “false”.

 

Meanwhile, TheCable had visited some commercial banks in Lagos and observed that new naira notes were dispensed over-the-counter alongside the old notes.

 

But some banks also resorted to rationing them as they grappled with limited supply.

 

 “That is not the correct position. We have enough supplies in line with the indent for the period,” Nwasinobi said.

 

He accused some citizens of attempting to swap large volumes of existing notes for new notes in banks.

 

“The report we have is that some persons are wanting to swap the amounts they have, which is not the objective of the currency redesign,” the CBN spokesperson explained.

 

“For instance, a customer brings in N2 million in cash and expects to get the same volume in the new currency.

 

 “If the banks accede to such requests, it will be tantamount to leaving the challenge of excess cash unaddressed.”

 

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