Naira Scarcity Returns In States As CBN Deadline For Old Notes Approaches

Recall that the CBN had previously announced that the old Naira notes would remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order.

Naija News reports that former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, had unveiled plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, urging citizens to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, as they would no longer be accepted as legal tender. A development that brought untold hardship on Nigerians across board spiking protests and attacks on banks in various cities across the country.

However, a few weeks before the CBN deadline, business communities in Kano and Borno states have expressed concerns about the Naira scarcity resurfacing.

A CBN official, who reportedly spoke to Daily Trust on the development, however, stated that there was no plan to “phase out the old notes”.

The media platform also quoted a Point of Sales (PoS) operator in Kano, Abdullahi Usman, to have said banks only allowed withdrawals of between N40,000 and N50,000 daily for individuals and N150,000 to N200,000 for corporate entities.

According to him, he gets his cash supply from the markets where cash transactions usually take place.

“As a PoS operator, I can’t give more than N20,000 to individuals because most banks only allow us to have N40,000 to N50,000 daily. I learnt that only owners of corporate accounts can get N150,000 to N200,000. If you go around town, you will find out that most of the PoS centres now have less cash compared to some weeks ago,” he said.

He said the approaching CBN’s December deadline had made many people deposit their money in banks to avoid being trapped after December 31.

Another PoS operator, Bello Shehu, said he had since resorted to accessing cash from fuel stations instead of the banks because they (banks) don’t usually have enough cash to give to customers.

“I get my cash from fuel stations because the cash we get from the banks nowadays is limited and can’t cater for our customers’ demands,” he said.

It was noticed that despite the absence of long queues at bank ATMs, a majority of them were not dispensing cash. A shop owner in Hotoro, Nassarawa Local Government Area of Kano, Muhammed Gambo, reported his inability to access cash from ATMs in recent times. Likewise, a civil servant from the Kano State Government shared that he was unable to withdraw his October salary from six ATMs and had to resort to PoS, where he could only obtain half of the required amount.
Naira Scarcity Biting Hard On Borno Residents

The report further stated that the resurfaced Naira scarcity is already biting hard in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Naija News learnt that residents, traders and banks are affected as most transactions can only be done with limited cash.

Journalists who reportedly surveyed markets, PoS centres and banks in the capital city, observed that the cash scarcity had forced many to do online transactions. It was said that cash was not available in most of the ATMs and PoS visited, while limits were set for customers who had access to cash.

A staff of one of the first-generation banks in Maiduguri said his bank set a withdrawal limit of N20,000 for customers owing to the shortage of naira notes. He said sometimes, his bank would not get cash for two weeks from the CBN.

He said he also observed that customers had stopped depositing money in the bank.

“Surprisingly, you will give customers cash every day, but no cash deposit is coming. We learnt that some agents mop up cash from traders and filling stations in town,” he said.

A PoS operator, Yapa Moses, who granted audience to a journalist, said, “We now have to book money from traders around us and give them a small amount. We no longer rely on banks to get cash because you can visit five ATM points without getting cash.”

A customer, Inusa Salihu, said he visited eight PoS points along the Maiduguri by-pass to withdraw cash but could not get it.

“I had to drive to Baga Market and plead with the PoS operator to give me N10,000 because he already set a limit of N5,000,” he said.
BDCs Shares Experience With The Resurfaced Naira Scarcity

A Bureau de Change (BDCs) operator at the popular Sheraton Road, Wuse Zone 4 Abuja, Bala Gidado, shared his experience with journalists, saying that the naira scarcity had resurfaced for a few days now.

“Banks have started mopping up cash, and it could be because of the December deadline for the expiration of the old notes.

“I went to the bank today to get cash; I couldn’t get what I wanted. Naira is now very scarce, and we don’t understand what is happening again,” he told Daily Trust.

Another BDC operator, Ibrahim Hayatu, noted that the scarcity of Naira began last week but got worse this week.

“The issue of naira scarcity started last week, but this week, we can’t see it even if you go to the bank; it’s a problem. Today, I had to ask my colleagues before I got N500,000,” he said..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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