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CBN Begins Disbursement of Old Naira Notes Amidst Cash Scarcity



CBN Directs Banks to Pick Old Naira Notes for Disbursement

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began the disbursement of old naira notes on Thursday, March 23, 2023, as the Nigerian government intensified efforts to end the crippling cash scarcity that threatens to ground the economy and inflicted severe pains on bank customers across the country.

The apex bank had directed banks to pick the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes across its offices nationwide for disbursements to customers.

Meeting with Bank CEOs

This development follows a meeting between the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and bank CEOs on Wednesday, Mach 22, 2023, a Punch report says.

According to the report, commercial banks received the old naira notes nationwide from CBN offices on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Confirmation from Bank CEOs and CBN Officials

The report also quotes multiple bank CEOs and top executives of banks who confirmed the release of the old notes.

Also, sources at the CBN confirmed that the apex bank would reissue the old notes it mopped up from the public to the banks.

Mopped-Up Old Naira Notes

As it embarked on the naira redesign and cashless policies, the apex bank had mopped up the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes from circulation.

Daily Trust reported that while most banks in Lagos were not dispensing, the few that distributed paid N5,000 per day against the N20,000 daily withdrawal limit of the CBN.

Estimated Timeframe for Saturating the Economy

Top bank officials say the notes would take about two weeks to saturate the economy thoroughly.

However, bank officials say the situation may not return to normal immediately.

CBN’s Plans to End Cash Scarcity earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria had concluded plans to issue all N1,000, N500, and N200 banknotes in its vaults to commercial banks.

The decision will expectedly end months of cash crunch and pains experienced by Nigerians due to the bank’s naira redesign and cashless policies.

The apex bank’s decision came weeks after the Supreme Court ordered it to reissue the old banknotes and allow them to remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.



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