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Massive naira crisis hits Nigeria as banks ration old notes, NLC gives ultimatum



Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria have started to limit the disbursement of old N1,000 and N500 notes to their customers. This is due to uncertainty over whether the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will release the old notes in its custody.


The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, recently declared old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes as legal tender. Despite this announcement, the Nigeria Labour Congress has insisted on its seven-day ultimatum for the Federal Government to end the cash crunch.

According to The PUNCH, banks in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, Kwara, and other states were only paying out N5,000 or N10,000 to each customer over the counters. Some banks loaded their Automated Teller Machines with old notes, but most were only dispensing N5,000. Bank executives revealed that most banks were paying out what was left in their vaults since they had already sent a significant amount of old naira deposits to the CBN several weeks ago.

The scarcity of old and new naira notes has caused confusion and hardship for Nigerians, with some traders and transport operators refusing to accept the old notes. However, some supermarkets and stores have started accepting them, and some commercial banks have begun issuing them.

The NLC has threatened to direct workers to stay away from their offices if the Federal Government fails to address the cash crunch and fuel shortage within seven days. The CBN’s recent declaration of old notes as legal tender was expected to put an end to the scarcity, but it appears the situation may continue for some time.

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