… Says No Deadline Extension for Old Notes
To ensure the newly redesigned naira notes circulate across the nation ahead of the January 32, 2023 deadline, the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed Banks to dispense new naira notes only through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
The apex bank also barred banks from distributing the new notes over-the-counter.
While reiterating that there would be no extension of the January 31 deadline for the return of old N200, N500 and N1, 000 notes to the banks, CBN issued the directive to the banks on Wednesday and ordered that the implementation must begin immediately.
Speaking on the distribution of the new naira notes, an official who pledged to remain anonymous told This Day that, “Banks are barred from distributing the new notes over-the-counter. All new notes must go to the ATMs. The directive to the banks from the central bank is that they must dispense through their ATMs nationwide and people can go to the ATMs to collect the money. They cannot dispense the new notes across the counter for now until they exhaust the new notes. And when that happens they can then upload the old notes. Until they get another supply of new notes.
“That is the only way to ensure that the new notes are being circulated. Otherwise, what the banks were doing from our intelligence, was that they were holding the cash and giving it to high-profile individuals and customers over-the-counter and not circulating it to ordinary customers. So, we decided they must only dispense it through ATM machines for now until it fully circulates in the financial system.”
The source warned that banks caught breaching this directive would face stiff sanctions.
Another source in a Tier-1 bank, who informed one of our correspondents of the CBN directive on Thursday, said her lender 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.”
Furthermore, CBN also stated that there will be no extension of the deadline for the usage of old currency.
Speaking on this, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had said the move would help to manage the money supply, and tackle currency counterfeiting and terrorism, among others.The circulation of the new banknotes commenced on December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall seize to be legal tender.