Banks have continued to give out old Naira notes which is slated to be binned by January 31, 2023, five days after the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) began dispensing the newly-redesigned naira notes.
This has led to depositors are lamenting the scarcity of fresh currency.
Against this backdrop, bank customers are querying the rationale behind having more of the old notes constituting the bulk of cash dispensed by the banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), when their lifespan is barely a month away.
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the volume of the new notes would be far less than what currently obtains with the old notes, the Nigerian business community is appealing to the regulator to put more new notes into circulation.
While the banks are rationing the new notes, it was gathered that currency traffickers and influential individuals are allegedly colluding with banks to mop the little available new notes released to them by the CBN.
Timothy Akparawa, a businessman in Wuse Market, told Daily Sun that getting the new notes has become a huge challenge.
“I have been to three of my banks to get the new notes but to no avail. The cashiers are still paying out the old notes. Same with the ATMs. This is a serious problem because we have about a month to stop using the old notes”, he lamented.
Also lamenting, Florence Agada, a Point of Sales operator, said her customers were uncomfortable accepting the old notes.
“Some of my customers don’t want to collect the old notes anymore. They said it will soon expire , but banks are not giving us new notes. They keep asking us to check the next day. It’s been one story after the other. No new notes. We also have issues around acceptance of the new notes in some remote areas”, she said.
Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Muda Yusuf, told Daily Sun that the CBN should be given the benefits of doubts to quickly fine-tune logistics challenges that may have been encountered in the initial rollout of the new notes.
“CBN should not underestimate the huge logistics required to ensure the new notes get to every nook and cranny of the country. Nigeria is a vast country and we must ensure the new notes get to all areas, especially remote places. A programme like this requires sound preparedness. By now, ATMs should not be dispensing old notes. It should not be”, he said.