Naira scarcity: Nigerians storm CBN, demand order for banks to collect old notes

Some Nigerians have staged a protest at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) branch in Ondo state over their inability to exchange their old N200, N500, and N1000 notes for new ones.

The protesters, who besieged the CBN office at Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State capital around 8:30:00am, demanded that the Apex bank should instruct the commercial banks to receive the old Naira notes from them or the CBN should swap the money for them.

Some of the protesters complained that their banks refused to collect from them the old Naira notes of denominations redesigned by the CBN and directed them to the CBN to do their deposit.

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A lady, who simply identified herself as Tobi, complained that she wanted to withdraw money from the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), but was shocked when the machine dispensed old Naira notes mixed with new ones.

She said the bank had stopped accepting old Naira notes from depositors on Monday, yet it loaded its ATM with old notes mixed with newly redesigned Naira notes.

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According to her, “I am here to deposit or swap my old Naira notes, just N12,000, for newly redesigned ones. When I got to my bank this morning, the officials directed to CBN to do sawpping for the so-called newly redesigned Naira notes.

“They refused to collect from us. But I was shocked when I attempted withdrawing from the ATM, but the person in from of me who slotted his card in the machine received old N1000 notes and some newly redesigned notes.

“Where’s the sense in all this. They don’t receive old notes of N200, N500 and N1000 from customers, yet their ATM is dispensing the money they are rejecting.”

Another protester, James, said: “The CBN is flouting the order of the Supreme Court by telling the commercial banks not to collect the old notes.

“I think the Supreme Court should ensure all the commercial banks that stopped accepting the old ones before the date given by the Court Order should be made to face the consequences of the contempt of court.”

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Meanwhile, the peaceful protesters were addressed and drifted from the gate of the CBN by the police.

Shortly after the protesters left, CBN hurriedly pasted a paper on the gate instructing commercial banks to continue receiving the old Naira notes of N200, N500, N1000 till tomorrow, February 15, 2023.

The notice reads: “The Management of Central Bank (CBN) has directed all the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to receive deposit of old banknotes comprises of N200, N500 and N1,000 from the public between 14th-15th February, 2023.
In view of the above, public are hereby directed to visit their banks for lodgement of their old banknotes as specified above.”

Some commercial banks in Akure metropolis on Monday refused to accept the old Naira notes from depositors, development which has caused a lot of agitations in the state.

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