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Banks To Hand Out Only N100, N50, N20, Other Lower Notes Amid New Naira Scarcity

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered commercial banks to hand customers lower denominations for over-the-counter withdrawal amid the scarcity of new Naira notes.

Prime Business Africa gathered that over-the-counter withdrawals would consist of N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 notes, as the banks continue to ration the redesigned banknotes.

The decision was made at the Bankers’ Committee meeting on Monday 30 January 2023, a day after the central bank extended the deadline to phase out the old Naira notes from 31 January 2023 to 10 February 2023. 

Following the meeting, the bankers’ committee also resolved to stop offering old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to customers over the counter. 

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Recall that the financial regulator had directed banks to stop offering the redesigned Naira notes across the counter, stating that the new banknotes should be dispensed only via Auto Teller Machine (ATM). 

However, the majority of the banks have failed to load their ATMS due to insufficient redesigned banknotes, with Ripples Nigeria’s report last week showing Sterling Bank is still dispensing old Naira notes via ATMs. 

Other banks’ ATMs have been unable to dispense, leaving customers stranded as businesses begin to reject the old Naira notes days to the deadline set for 31 January 2023. 

While the banks said the redesigned Naira notes are not sufficient to meet customers’ demand, the central bank stated that there are enough new banknotes to go around, but the lenders are not coming to collect them. 

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As a result, the financial regulator threatened to sanction commercial banks, fining them N1 million daily for failing to obtain the redesigned Naira notes from the CBN. 

Meanwhile, to increase circulation, CBN has held several meetings with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and has also partnered with Super Agents to enable residents in rural areas to swap their old Naira notes with new ones.

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