The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is yet to release the old N1000 and N500 notes it mopped out of circulation despite asking commercial banks to commence their recirculation.
This is amid the struggle by commercial banks to meet the increasing demands of customers who besiege their branches across the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Traders, artisans, PoS operators, and students, among others, who visited bank branches, said they were disappointed as they could not withdraw the amounts they wanted.
Those who spoke to our correspondents said they were only given between N5,000 and N10,000 while a few others managed to get N20,000.
The CBN said Monday in a statement by its spokesman, Isa AbdulMumin, that deposit money banks operating in the country have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3 which said the old N1,000, N500 and N200 remain legal tender until December 31.
The CBN’s statement came a few hours after a statement from Aso Villa quoting President Muhammadu Buhari as saying he did not direct the CBN and the Attorney-General of the Federation not to comply with the Supreme Court judgement.
Checks by our reporters yesterday indicated that the CBN was not releasing the old notes it has already mopped out of circulation.
A senior management staff of Guarantee Trust Bank said: “We are not receiving any old cash from the CBN. I have a substantial stock of the old notes and that is what we are recirculating as of today.”
The source explained that most commercial banks had retained the old notes in the days leading up to the February 10 deadline, before the Supreme Court order truncated the initial timeline by the CBN.
“We had that cash with us, and when the CBN became overwhelmed with those rushing to beat the deadline, they also directed them to the commercial banks, so we have that stock too. That is the reserve that we have built up.”
Also, a management staff of Polaris Bank who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity said, “We have not received the old notes largely because we have not finished dispensing our old naira stock.
“The instruction we have is to dispense every note at our disposal. We will get a clear understanding of things when we exhaust what we have.”