In a bid to alleviate the plights of Nigerians over the scarcity of the redesigned naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed commercial banks to start paying the new notes over the counter.
The apex bank announced the development in a statement on Thursday, February 2, 2023.
The CBN had in January asked banks not to dispense the new currency notes over-the-counter.
The restriction coupled with the controversial deadline of the currency policy has unleashed hardship on Nigerians as many people struggle to change their old notes with new ones before the February 10 deadline.
The scarcity of the redesigned notes worsens the situation across the country as Nigerians besiege banks’ ATMs to get the new notes while POS operators run a black market with the new notes.
However, Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s director of corporate communications in a statement said the apex bank is working to address the challenge.
The statement reads in part: “We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.
“While reiterating our commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced naira banknotes, we urge them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues at ATMs. In line with this resolve, the governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.
The CBN also advised members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.