Nigerian bank operators meet lawmakers, blame CBN for scarcity of new Naira notes

Nigerian commercial banks have countered the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) comments about the availability of new Naira notes on Friday, 27 January 2023. 

Recall that the CBN had blamed the banks for hoarding the new naira notes, but with operators of the banks testifying before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee probing the paucity of the new notes, they defended that it is not their fault.

Hadiza Ambursa, an official of Access Bank who represented the bank’s managing director in the meeting with lawmakers, said they only got 10 percent of the money deposited with the CBN.

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She said: “We are not getting the money as quickly as we want them. We only get 10 percent of the money deposited. We are paying and collecting money. We are also loading our ATM.”

Jimoh Garuba, the representative of Sterling Bank, said the bank receive allocation weekly from CBN but had no have sufficient fund to meet its customers’ demand.


Garuba said: “As we speak, our Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is dispensing what we received which fluctuate most time.”

He said his bank received a minimum of N150 million from the CBN weekly to be shared among its branches in Abuja.

He added that the bank received N150 million weekly in Kaduna which is shared among its branches across the 36 states of federation.

”We received N100 million weekly and we can only dispense through ATM and not through the counter. If we are to go through the counter to dispense the money, the allocation will go in less down 10 minutes,” he added.

He said the percentage of money received from the CBN varies on weekly basis, adding that it receives 80 percent of what it deposited in Abuja and less than 10 percent in Kano.

Garuba blamed the shortage of the new Naira notes in circulation on the CBN cashless policy.

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Arerepade Akagwe, the representative of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), said the bank had taken 70 percent of the old money it deposited with the CBN.

The Chairman of the committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, said the bank appearance before the committee was not a witch hunt but a fact-finding exercise.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have threatened to arrest Godwin Emefiele CBN governor, and bank CEOs.

The threat of arrest comes after the apex bank refused its request to extend the deadline for the deposit of the old notes by six months and also the failure of Emefiele to appear before the house.

For bank CEOs who failed to appear before the house, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila warned of arrests.

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