The professional body for bankers in the country, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), has appealed to citizens of the nation to be patient and remain calm over the hardship caused by the scarcity of new Naira notes in the financial system.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) changed the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations and asked residents of the country to return the old currency notes.
Since the apex bank extended the deadline of the currency swap on January 29, 2023, to February 10, 2023, Nigerians have been made to spend almost the whole day withdrawing about N20,000, and in some cases, ATMs are unable to dispense cash to customers, fanning outrage among the people, who are already frustrated by the effect of the Naira redesign policy.
Their anger further rose after reports of security officials arresting bank managers who hoarded the new notes and failed to load their ATM terminals for customers to withdraw cash, resulting in attacks on banking facilities.
Worried by this, the CIBN issued a statement on Tuesday to appeal to the banking public to exercise patience, promising that efforts are being made by stakeholders to address the issue.
In the statement signed by the Registrar/Chief Executive of CIBN, Mr Akin Morakinyo, the group expressed sympathy “with the banking public on the difficulties encountered in accessing the new Naira notes which heightened tension and, in some cases, provoked acts of violence at different customer touchpoints.”
“Whilst we understand the plight of bank customers, we passionately appeal for calm and understanding as the regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the operators, the banks, are working assiduously to bring the situation under control.
“Relevant stakeholders within the ecosystem are being engaged with a view to addressing the unintended consequences of the laudable Naira redesign policy.
“To this end, we beseech the general public to eschew any act capable of exacerbating the current situation and exercise restraint while we enjoin all our members to carry on their duties with utmost professionalism and diligence.
“The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, the umbrella professional body for banks and bankers, is confident that this phase will pass with the cooperation of all and sundry, and our country Nigeria will come out of this stronger,” it further said.