Cash Scarcity: Banks Flout CBN Directives, Secretly Close Early, Set Withdrawal Below Approved Limit

Cash Scarcity: Banks Flout CBN Directives, Secretly Close Early, Set Withdrawal Below Approved Limit

  • Some commercial banks in Nigeria are said to have quietly changed their operating hours thereby going contrary to the CBN's directives
  • Also, some banks reportedly reduced the withdrawal limit over-the-counter without notice, now open later and close earlier than directed by the CBN
  • Feelers from some of the bank officials say the increased attack on banks and their staff is responsible for the development

The cash crunch in Nigeria has forced some banks to readjust their operating hours and the approved withdrawal limits set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Other banks have reduced the amount dispensed via their ATMs below CBN-approved limits and over-the-counter withdrawals to N5,000.

CBN, commercial banks
Nigerian banks send secret messages to customers
Source: UGC

Banks go against CBN directive

In December 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele stated that the banks have enough of the old naira notes, saying that the new notes will go around.

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However, following customer attacks on bank facilities and staff, some banks have secretly announced that they will be closing operations earlier than stipulated.

Some banks also adjusted their opening hours to later than 8 am.

Some of the banks visited by on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, showed that some banks are yet to open their doors to customers as of 8.30 am.

Along the Opebi axis of Ikeja in Lagos, one of the new-generation banks addressed a crowd of customers waiting to withdraw cash via the ATM and across the counter that they had run out of money.

Banks state the reason for the readjustment

The bank also informed them that they would not operate at may not work at maximum capacity due to the cash crunch.

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When asked why one of the bank officials who pleaded anonymity said they were scared for their lives following increased attacks on banks and their officials across the country.

According to reports, some banks stopped operating as early as 2. pm against the CBN directive of 8. am to 6. pm weekdays and 9 am to 6. pm on weekends.

The current situation has left many Nigerians stranded and without cash, as many keep vigil at ATM points.

Zenith Bank closed headquarters, and branches over fear of attacks, lack of new naira notes, customers lament reported that Zenith banks closed some of its branches in some parts of Lagos, and Abuja against desperate customers seeking cash payment on Tuesday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) cash swap policy for commercial banks and agents is expected to end on February 10, 2023.

The Nation reports that it is not only the branch that has shut its gates, two other new generation banks as early as 9 am left customers stranded.


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