Just In: CBN Reverses Self, Asks Banks To Collect Old N500, N1,000 Notes
By Ed Malik, A | ed@ddnewsonline.com |
posted February 17, 2023

Following unprecedented protest across the country as a result of the scarcity of the new notes of the redesigned higher denominations of Naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has ordered banks to start collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes from the public with immediate effect. It however pegged the maximum amount the banks can collect at N500,000.

Recall that the apex bank had opened a portal on its website and instructed those willing to return old notes to fill and generate a pay-in code.

However, many Nigerians are still in possession of the old naira notes due to poor distribution and non-availability of the newly designed currency in all the States.
The immediate net consequence is that many Nigerians have been unable to purchase food items or carry out daily transactions since the CBN through the commercial banks started implementing the policy to phase out the old notes within a deadline that was mired in controversy, which the Supreme Court weighed in asking all parties to maintain status quo but President Buhari in his nationwide broadcast on Thursday mocked the ruling and only gave a breather until April 10, for the N200 note only.
No doubt, this are trying times for Nigerians, as the CBN seemed not to have given the issue deep thinking in the context of the subsistence daily earning and living of the majority of the ordinary Nigerian.
A reliable Source told DDNEWS that the apex bank made the U-turn because they are already overwhelmed by the number people besieging their offices daily to swap the old notes for the new ones, after the initial expiration date of February 10.
Furthermore, it seems the CBN conveniently forgot that there’s only one CBN branch office in every State, which made it cumbersome for people to move cash from remote places to State Capitals where the CBN offices existed. “The U-turn was to decentralize the mop-up process and cover its nakedness as it would have been apparent that even the CBN has no machinery for such humongous process”, said the source.
The current saga of unimaginable suffering that the people have had to undergo in the last few days started in October 2022, when CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced the plan to redesign the higher denominations of our currency (N200, N500, and N1,000 notes), and directed Nigerians to deposit their old notes before the initial deadline of January 31, 2023, which was later extended to February 10.
However, protests by Nigerians all over the States over the scarcity of the new notes has made the CBN to direct banks to collect higher denominations after a feedback meeting with Banks’ management.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

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