Onitsha Traders Angry Over Sale of New Naira Notes by Alleged Bank Officials
- Officials of commercial banks in Onitsha Main Market have been accused of selling the new naira notes
- Traders at the market have protested to the CBN over the development and asked the bank to compel commercial banks to dispense the new notes
- The CBN said it would mount surveillance in the banks to monitor the situation
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Officials of commercial banks in Onitsha, Anambra state are allegedly selling new naira notes to the highest bidder.
Traders at the Onitsha Main Market have protested to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the development saying that the newly redesigned currency is being given to people who pay extra.
Traders protest to CBN
According to a BusinessDay report, the traders said the shady deal by bank operatives in the state is the reason many of them are yet to access the new notes, adding that commercial banks are reluctant to issue the new notes to the public.
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Traders at the market channelled their protests to the Anambra state branch controller of the CBN, Benedict Maduagwu, during the bank’s sensitization visit on the new notes.
Chairman of the traders in the Onitsha Main Market, Innocent Ezeoha urged the apex bank to tell officials of the CBN to bring the notes to the market.
Responding, Maduagwu said the bank would monitor the commercial banks by mounting surveillance, as he revealed that every note allotted to the banks have security codes.
“Some of these challenges primarily include: First, a significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public. Statistics show that 84.71 per cent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks, with only 15.29 per cent in the central bank.
“Second, is the worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes with the attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability; third, there is increasing ease by criminals and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports received at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The benefits of the currency redesign to Nigeria's economy are enormous given that: This policy will help to control inflation as the exercise will bring the hoarded currency into the banking system, thereby making monetary policy more effective," the CBN controller stated.
Legit.ng confirms development
Izukwukwu Nwanne, a trader in Onitsha Main Market confirmed the development to Legit.ng.
Nwanne said that many traders are yet to see, let alone handle the new notes.
“As I am talking to you I am yet to see any of the new notes, I have only seen it picture. The same thing with many traders here in Main Market. What the commercial banks are doing is wrong. I am sure they are circulating the money among their staff.
According to him, N20,000 of the old notes sells for N15,000 new ones.
"The officials will tell you to pay N20,000 to get N15,000 of the new notes. And they don't give customers anything below N10,000." he said.
CBN threatens to penalise commercial banks that fail to load new notes in ATMs
Legit.ng reported that Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a warning to commercial banks which fail to comply with its directive to load new naira notes in ATMs.
The bank said it will penalise erring banks around the country for not complying with its directive on the new notes.
CBN’s Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Umar disclosed this in Abuja on Monday, January 9, 2023, at a training session for state directors of the National Orientation Agency (NOA).