Findings by Nairametrics Research have shown that old N1000 and N500 notes are still being dispensed by some banks’ ATMs.
Meanwhile, the commercial banks have complained that the new naira notes are not enough to meet customers’ demands.
But the apex bank insists that the new mints are enough to go round.
The deadline for phasing the old notes out of circulation is January 31st, 2023.
Despite the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to commercial banks to load only new naira notes in their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), old N1000 and N500 notes are still being dispensed by some banks’ ATMs, according to findings by Nairametrics Research.
Recall that the CBN had earlier this week mandated commercial banks to stop loading old naira notes in their ATMs in a bid to accelerate the process of circulating the new banknotes as the 31st January deadline draws nearer.
However, visits to some ATM galleries across Lagos State on Wednesday, January 11th January 2022 shows that many of the bank ATMs are still dispensing old naira notes. Note that there are just 20 days left to the deadline.
New notes not enough: Inquiries by Nairametrics Research revealed that the banks do not have enough new notes to meet ATM withdrawal demands, hence the need to load old notes into them.
Some of the banks’ staff who spoke to Nairametrics, noted that the new notes available at their banks are insufficient to meet ATM withdrawal demands.
This is however contrary to the claim of the CBN, who noted that they have enough new naira notes to meet public demands.
CBN insists otherwise: Central bank Director of Currency Operations, Mr Ahmed Umar, While speaking recently at the training session for state directors of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on the redesigning of currency, the CBN’s Director for Currency Operations, Mr Ahmed Umar, emphasised that the banks have enough new notes to circulate. He said:
“We want to use this training session to pass the message that the CBN has enough currency notes to go around the general public.
“We, CBN management, have mandated banks to stop putting old notes in their ATMs. They should only put the new notes.
“And there is the serialization of the policy that they can put either N500, N1000 or N200 notes whichever the denomination they have, or a combination of any of those notes; they should just put a new note in their machines.
“We are going to monitor to ensure that the banks comply and if they don’t, we have a penalty for non-compliance,” the CBN director said.
Over-the-counter withdrawals: Recall that the CBN had also recently ordered banks to discontinue over-the-counter payment of the new naira notes to customers. This has frustrated many Nigerians who are finding it difficult to gain access to the new notes.
The CBN has however maintained that the deadline of 31st January stands, despite the National Assembly’s call to extend the deadline to 30th June 2023. The Senate urged the CBN to extend the deadline to allow Nigerians to deposit their cash in banks.
Why this matter: The old notes are set to seize being legal tenders by the end of the month, with just nineteen days to go, questioning the possibility of mopping all old notes from the system before the set date, as banks continue to doll out the old notes.
This could be a signal to the apex bank to extend the deadline to give more room for circulation. Although, the bank had announced its move to reduce the amount of higher denominations in the economy, which could be a major factor limiting the supply of new notes in the economy since ATMs are still dispensing N1,000 and N500 denominations.