Market News

Naira Redesign: Mixed reactions trail CBN’s directive as banks struggle to meet customers’ demands - PREMIUM TIMES

MARCH 18, 2023

The CBN policy caused widespread chaos across the nation, as frustrated Nigerians staged protests amid poor banking operations.

By Ayodeji Adegboyega,Mary Izuakaand2 Others

Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive authorising commercial banks to dispense and receive the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes, many Nigerians this week rejected the bank notes.

A PREMIUM TIMES’ survey across major cities found that some motorists and traders refused to accept the old notes amid the uncertainties surrounding the acceptance of the notes by commercial banks.

The apex bank had on Monday announced that the old and newly redesigned banknotes remain legal tender until 31 December. The move brought relief to Nigerians who had gone through hardship as a result of the cash crunch occasioned by the CBN Naira redesign policy since December.

The CBN policy caused widespread chaos across the nation, as frustrated Nigerians staged protests amid poor banking operations.

On 8 February, the Supreme Court intervened by issuing an order restraining the CBN from enforcing the deadline for the withdrawal of the N200, N500, and N1000 notes. The court granted the order following a lawsuit challenging the CBN’s currency redesign policy.

The order from the Supreme Court was met with relief from many bank customers who had faced hardship while trying to access their money. However, both President Muhammadu Buhari and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele refused to comply with the court order.

On 3 March, the Supreme Court again intervened by ruling that the CBN must extend the use of old banknotes until 31 December due to the negative impact of the policy.

In the ruling, made by a seven-member panel led by John Okoro, the court ordered the CBN to continue accepting the old notes from Nigerian citizens.

On Monday, the presidency in a statement claimed that Mr Buhari never directed the CBN to disobey the Supreme Court’s order, prompting the apex bank to direct commercial banks to comply with the Supreme Court order.

Days after the CBN gave its directive; PREMIUM TIMES observed that while many Nigerians now accept the old N500 and N1000 notes, some others are still rejecting the banknotes.

A survey conducted by this newspaper on Tuesday and Wednesday also showed that there are long queues at the banks and ATM galleries, although there has been relative reduction in the number of customers struggling to access the banks.

Insufficient Banknotes

Although commercial banks began issuing the old notes last week, there has been an improvement in the amount of money being dispensed to customers since the CBN announced that they should comply with the court order Monday night.

But bank officials who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES under condition of anonymity said that the banknotes available for customers remain insufficient as of Wednesday evening.

A top official at one of the Union bank branches in the CBD area of Abuja confirmed this development to PREMIUM TIMES. “We do not have sufficient supply so I doubt there will be better circulation of money this week. We will wait for the CBN to supply us,” he said.

He added that the amount banks get from the CBN is not enough to meet customers’ needs.


This website uses cookies We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services
Real Time Analytics