CBN Bows to Pressure, Directs Banks to Begin Over-The-Counter Payment of New Naira Notes
- The Central Bank of Nigeria has bowed to pressure and directed banks to begin payment of the new naira notes over the counter
- The latest directive is contained in a statement by the bank’s Director of Communications, Osita Nwanisobi
- He also said the bank will begin to prosecute abusers of the new naira notes
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The Central Bank of Nigeria has succumbed to pressure and directed Deposit Money Banks to begin over-the-counter payment of the new naira notes.
The bank, in a statement signed by its director of Communications, Osita Nwanisiobi on Thursday, February 2, 2023, and seen by Legit.ng, said the current queues at ATMs points will disappear soon.
CBN to punish naira abusers
The bank also said it will partner with security operatives to prosecute sellers and abusers of the new naira notes.
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“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has observed, with grave concern, the activities of persons who sell the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of Naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
“We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.
“Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.
“We wish to state unequivocally that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray), or stamp on the currency under any circumstance whatsoever.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”
“Similarly, Section 21(4) states that “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”
“Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.
"While reiterating our commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced Naira banknotes, we urge them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues at ATMs. In line with this resolve, the Govenor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000."
Nigerians face hassles at ATMs
Following an earlier directive by CBN not to dispense the new naira notes only via ATMs, Nigerians kept vigil at ATM points.
The development led to the scarcity of new notes as the banks say they do not have enough for everyone.
The recent announcement by the apex bank, therefore, comes as a reprieve for many who go through hassles to get a hold of the new notes.
Nigerian bank pays customers in N5, N10 amid scarcity of new naira notes, as CBN issues fresh instruction
Recall that Legit.ng reported that Nigerian banks have started paying customers with the lower denominations of the naira notes.
On Monday, January 30, 2023, the banks committee issued a fresh instruction that banks should cease paying over-the-counter withdrawers in old naira notes as a substitute for the scarce new naira notes.
The committee, led by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, further instructed that should customers insist on over-the-counter withdrawal, the N100, N50, N20, N10, and N5 notes should be used to pay the customer regardless of the amount.