Abuja—The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks to start paying the redesigned naira notes to customers over the counter.
In a statement on Thursday, the CBN said the new directive was to alleviate the challenges that Nigerians are experiencing with getting access to the new notes, as well as reduce queues at the automated teller machines (ATMs) nationwide.
TheCable reports that the latest development comes across as one of the several reversals made by CBN since it announced the naira redesign policy in October last year.
Following the unveiling and the commencement of the circulation of the redesigned naira notes on December 15, 2022, the apex bank ordered deposit money banks (DMBs) to stop issuing the new notes over the counter.
But the directive, coupled with many other restrictions that dots the policy, has unleashed hardship on Nigerians who are making frantic efforts to deposit their old notes (N200, N500, and N1,000) before the new February 10 deadline elapses.
Residents have also been seen crowding ATM terminals in the country in a bid to get the new notes.
In the statement, signed by Osita Nwanisobi, director, corporate communications, CBN, the apex bank said it was working to address challenges with access to the redesigned notes.
“We have equally noticed the queues at automated teller machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them,” CBN said.
“While reiterating our commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced naira banknotes, we urge them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues at ATM.
“In line with this resolve, the Govenor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.
“We also admonish members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.”