January 30, 2023

News Naira: Despite deadline extension, customers’ frustration continues

New naira

…Banks limit old notes OTC withdrawal to N10, 000

…CBN sensitization moves to Yola

Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

Despite the extension of the deadline for the circulation of old Naira notes affecting N1, 000, N500, and N200 from today to February 10, bank customers continue to face frustration, as ATMs in the capital city were largely empty.

The few that had the new Naira had very long queues, with customers standing in the scorching sun for many hours to take their turns at the machines.

Even after queuing for many hours, some left empty-handed as the cash was exhausted before they could get to the ATMs.

A customer who did want his name in print said he had queued at two different ATMs, belonging to different banks but could not withdraw any money because the notes were exhausted before it was his turn, in each case.

He said that even his attempt to withdraw old notes at the counter did not yield positive results, as he was told that the banks were instructed not to pay old notes of the affected denominations.

Vanguard investigations showed that banks that had bank notes could only dispense the N50 denomination and pegged Over the Counter withdrawals at only N10, 000 per customer.

A bank official told one of our correspondents that they were under strict directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to pay any customer more than N10, 000, adding that they could not do otherwise.

POS operators charge 10%

Point of Sales (POS) operators were, yesterday, in brisk business, as they charged 10 percent of withdrawals.

For instance, anyone who withdrew N10, 000 new notes, was charged N1, 000; while old notes attracted between N200 -500.

Most POS operators that spoke to our correspondents said they did not have new notes to dispense to customers.

Meanwhile the CBN has continued its Naira redesign sensitization, across the country, as its official took the awareness campaign to Jimeta Ultra-Modern Market, Yola, Adamawa State, last week.

Officials of CBN met market leaders and conducted On-the-Spot assessment of the cash swap exercise in various parts of the state.

CBN Director, Internal Audit, Mrs. Alfa Lydia Ifeanyichukwu, who led the Adamawa State team, urged Nigerians to report any commercial bank that failed to dispense the Naira notes at its business outlets for sanctioning.

Mrs. Ifeanyichukwu stressed that the Naira Redesign policy came at a time when Nigerian economy was facing many challenges.

She added that some of the constraints were holding down the growth prospects of the nation and therefore, urged well-meaning Nigerians to support the successful implementation of the policy.

She said, “We advise members of the public to ensure that they deposit cash holdings in these denominations at their commercial banks.

“There is no limit to how much a customer can deposit between now and February 10, 2023, as the CBN has suspended bank charges and we encourage the public to explore other payment channels such as eNaira, POS, electronic transfer, USSD, internet banking, mobile operators and agents for their economic activities.”

In his remarks, state Branch Controller of the CBN, Mr. Sanusi Nyashi announced that any commercial bank found not dispensing the new notes would be sanctioned, noting that the CBN has directed all commercial banks to reintroduce Saturday’s banking to meet up with the high demand by Nigerians.

Mr. Nyashi said that the apex bank would be keenly monitoring the full implementation of the policy.

Also speaking at the sensitisation lecture held at the famous Jimeta Ultra Modern Market, Chairman of the traders Union of the Market, Alhaji Musa Yaro (Sarkin Kasuwa) advised that the CBN needed to do more in ensuring the availability of the new notes in the banks.

The chairman said that many of their members (traders) had been coming to them as leaders complaining that the banks were not dispensing the new Naira notes and that something urgent needed to be done.