January 17, 2023

CBN’s deadline: Nigerians decry dearth of mints as banks dispense old Naira notes


Some residents of Kogi have decried the non-availability of the new Naira notes in the state.

This is because some of the residents complained that some of the banks operating in the state were still dispensing the old notes through their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and on the counters.

Some of the residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja, expressed worry over the scarcity, with only two weeks to the CBN deadline of Jan. 31 to phase out the old notes.

Hajia Lami Audu, a Kogi-based businesswoman, said the way CBN and the manner commercial banks were going about the release of the New Naira notes of 1000, 500 and 200, could breed a crisis unless there would be an extension of the deadline.

“If you go to withdraw money either at the counter or ATM in the bank, what you will be given are old notes instead of the new notes as directed by the CBN,” she said.

Mrs Jumai Agada, a fish seller at New Market, Natako, said, “I get more of the old notes from customers that pay me and I don’t know why it’s so.

“Again, I have my fear and dislike for the new Naira notes because each time we go to buy fish by the river bank with the new notes, they wash or fade as soon as water touches them.

“The new notes are not as good as the old notes, which are water resistant. I’m sure when one is beaten by rain during the rainy season, the notes will end up staining one’s clothes if kept in the pocket,” she said.

Mr Abdullazeez Musa, a meat seller at Adankolo Market, said most of his customers used more of the old notes to buy meat than the new notes.

Musa wondered why the new notes were not very much in circulation, considering the directive of the Apex Bank to the banks to ensure reasonable flow and circulation in society.

A check around of some of the banks’ ATMs showed that few of them were dispensing old notes.

Some of the Operation Managers of the defaulting banks, who spoke to NAN in anonymity, said that the fault was not theirs since their branches were not being supplied with enough mints.

“You can see that our two ATM machines outside are not even dispensing any money because we don’t have the supply of the new naira notes to stock the machines.

“CBN has warned us to stop stocking the machines with old notes and we don’t want to disobey, so we have left them empty till when we get the supply,”  an Operation Manager explained.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its Director of Currency Operations, Mr Ahmed-Umar, had on Jan 9, mandated commercial banks to stop putting old Naira notes in their ATMs.

Ahmed-Umar claimed that the apex bank had enough of the new notes to meet the demand of the public as It also promised to monitor commercial banks, to ensure compliance with the directive.

He said that the directive was to implement the Jan. 31 deadline for the withdrawal of old notes in circulation.

“We, CBN management, have mandated banks to stop putting old notes in their ATMs. They should only put the new notes.

“There is the serialisation of the policy that they can put either N500, N1000 or N200 notes whichever the denomination they have, or a combination of the notes,” he said.

But a medical doctor, Adeiza Mathias said, “Nevertheless, as good as the Apex bank’s intention is, the situation here in Kogi deserves more pragmatic action to ensure that people don’t lose their hard-earned monies, especially the villagers.”