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HomeTop NewsCash crunch persists across Nigeria despite CBN directives on old naira notes

Cash crunch persists across Nigeria despite CBN directives on old naira notes

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Many banks ran out of old and new naira notes on Wednesday, despite the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to lenders to re-circulate the old banknotes to their customers, ending the expectation that the cash crunch will soon ease.

The CBN had on Monday directed banks to pay out and accept the old notes from their customers in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling extending the legal tender status of the old banknotes.

This came after President Muhammadu Buhari said he did not stop the CBN and the Attorney General of the Federation Office from complying with the Supreme Court judgment ordering that old naira notes should remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

As of the time of this publication, many bank branches remained shut across the country, while those that had cash rationed it to their customers.

Despite its directive, the CBN had yet to supply either the old notes or the redesigned new notes to the banks.

In many branches, crowds gathered in banking halls and at the automated teller machines (ATMs) in search of cash to transact daily business and make purchases, but their hopes were dashed when they could not be attended to by bank officials because of lack of cash to dispense.

In Jos, the Plateau State capital, customers were told there was no money to dispense by bank officials, leaving them stranded.

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“The truth is there is no cash. The banks are interested in doing business, but CBN has yet to release cash to us.

“I have sympathy for our customers who are left stranded, but the truth is, there is nothing we can do about it. We don’t have the cash,” a bank official said.

In Imo, Lagos, Oyo, and Abuja, only a few ATMs are dispensing the old naira note, while others are showing out of service.

A customer said officials of his bank told the waiting crowd that they should return on Thursday after paying a few customers the old naira notes over the counter.

In Lagos, banks set up canopies so customers could sit and wait.

In many of the branches in Ibeju-Lekki, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi, many customers queued for hours to withdraw cash.

Many of the customers were however able to get at least N20,000 dispensed over the counter at their banks after hours of waiting in queues.

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