The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a statement directing commercial banks to provide new naira notes to customers over the counter. According to the statement signed by the Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, this step is being taken in order to help alleviate the difficulties being faced by Nigerians in obtaining the new notes. The statement adds that the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to start the payment of the redesigned naira notes over the counter, with a daily payout limit of N20,000.
While acknowledging the challenges faced by Nigerians in accessing money from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), the CBN has reassured the public of its commitment to making the process as smooth as possible. The bank has also promised to prosecute any individuals who are involved in the racketeering of the new naira notes, and is working with relevant agencies to make this happen.
The CBN has expressed concern over the long lines at ATMs across the country and the increasing number of people who are stockpiling the newly introduced banknotes they obtain from ATMs. It has also noted reports of unregistered persons and non-bank officials exchanging banknotes on behalf of the CBN. The CBN emphasizes that it is illegal to sell, throw or stamp on the currency under any circumstances.