We’ve been begging banks to come and pick up redesigned naira notes — CBN
Weeks after their unveiling, the new naira notes remain scarce as ATM machines in many commercial banks still dispense old notes.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained the reason the redesigned naira notes are still scarce weeks after their introduction.
Last year, the apex bank redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 notes to address the issue of counterfeit notes in circulation and save the country’s sinking economy.
The CBN thereafter urged Nigerians to take the existing notes to commercial banks in exchange for the redesigned notes because the old notes would cease to be regarded as legal tender by January 31, 2023.
However, two weeks before the deadline, the redesigned notes are still scarce.
To check the scarcity of the new notes, the CBN directed commercial banks to fill their ATMs with the redesigned notes and also banned over-the-counter payment with the new notes.
Despite these measures, new notes remain scarce, as ATMs in many commercial banks still dispense old notes.
Speaking at a sensitization programme in Lagos, the Head of legal department of the central bank, Kofo Salam-Alada, said the CBN will go tough on banks that continue to fill their ATMs with old naira notes.
He disclosed that the CBN issues new notes every day, adding that the bank has been begging commercial banks to come and pick up the new naira notes.
He said, “I can tell you today that the CBN on a daily basis issues new notes. As we speak, banks are with the CBN taking money. We are actually begging banks to come and take money from the Central Bank. We have these new naira notes in our vaults, and we are begging banks to come and take it.
“We found out that a lot of things are happening that we need to checkmate, so we stopped withdrawal of new notes over the counter to ensure that everyone can have access to it and not one chief who is known to the manager, walks in, and carts away all the new notes in a particular branch. That is why we said it should be in the ATMs, which cannot distinguish people.
“We also have monitors going around banks now. I have been to some ATMs this morning and I have done the reports. We are not mobilizing the masses against the banks because the banks are there to serve you, but be rest assured that they will serve you now that they know that the CBN is on them to serve you with the new naira notes.”
Before they were redesigned, the N1000 notes had been in existence for 17 years, N500 for 21 years and N200 for 22 years.