Barely four days to the expiration of the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for old naira notes to fizzle out, banks across the country are running short of the new currency, Daily Trust can report.
The case is further worsened by the fact that commercial banks still give old notes to customers for Over- the- Counter Withdrawals (OTC) while very few Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) dispense the new naira notes.
A visit to some of the commercial banks in Abuja by Daily Trust showed that bank customers can only withdraw a maximum of N20,000 of the new notes while old notes are still being given to customers for withdrawals in the banking halls, against the directive of the CBN.
Daily Trust reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had directed customers to start rejecting old naira notes from banks, insisting that the old notes cease to be legal tender by January 31 as earlier stipulated.
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Our reporter who went to withdraw new notes was given old naira notes at a popular bank in the Garki Area of the FCT. The bank staff simply told our reporter that “The Central bank did not supply them and the little supply they have is what they load at ATMs in order to obey the CBN directive.
She said: “Immediately the ATMs are loaded, customers rush immediately to exhaust the little cash in it”.
Another bank Customer in Kano, Salihu Bello said “He was in the banking hall on Thursday where a customer was making trouble because he needed new cash to pay his own staff (labourers). The bank tellers said they didn’t have what they had expected to get today but they were not supplied. The bank is still paying old currencies”
Also another bank Customer, Ruth Tene stated that “Most banks today are claiming they don’t have cash to pay customers today, particularly Zenith Bank and GT Bank, Jabi all the same case,”
Meanwhile, Daily Trust observes that business owners in major markets and supermarkets have begun to reject the old naira notes.
At the popular Wuse Market in Abuja, Bashir Isa, a resident of the area who went to purchase some goods with the old naira notes could not do so as the traders there told him they won’t accept the old noted