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Fresh CBN orders fail to ease new naira pains



Nigerian banks

Banks in Nigeria are running out of old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes just three days after the Central Bank of Nigeria declared them as legal tender.


The situation has led to severe hardship for bank customers seeking to withdraw funds, causing them to become stranded in banking halls and major cities and towns. While some bank officials claim that their stock of old notes is beginning to run low, others say they have exhausted the old currencies in their vaults.

The situation is happening amid an acute shortage of new notes, which has led to long queues in banking halls and automated teller machine galleries in several cities and towns. Multiple sources close to the Central Bank of Nigeria say the bank might not release the old notes in its custody to banks anytime soon, as doing so might reverse the progress it has achieved on the cashless initiative.

Some economic analysts have reacted to the development, with the Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr. Muda Yusuf, expressing concern that there might be an attempt to sabotage the Supreme Court’s judgment.

The situation has left many petty cash traders and market women uncertain about the CBN directive, with some waiting for an announcement by the President. Some taxi drivers and Bolt drivers have rejected the old currency, citing fears that they might not be able to spend it.

The development has highlighted the need for the CBN to address the acute shortage of new notes and increase the amount of new currency in circulation to meet the demand for cash. Meanwhile, banks have called for a review of the cashless policy and for the government to work with them to resolve their lingering concerns.

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