Nigeria’s Banks Struggling to Adapt to Sudden Currency Shock
Bank customers in Lagos State, Nigeria were shocked when banks started to issue old N500 and N1,000 banknotes after receiving a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to comply with a Supreme Court ruling.
Customers reported that merchants, restaurants, and transport services still rejected the notes due to the lack of an official statement from the CBN or President Muhammed Buhari confirming their legitimacy.
The cash withdrawal limit was also introduced at this time, limiting customers to just N20,000 per day.
The Acting Director of the Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Dr. AbdulMumin Issa stated that there was no official statement yet on the use of old banknotes.
Customers in Ibadan Oyo State Capital reported similar experiences at banks as those in Lagos.
A staff described how she tried to use her old notes but they were not accepted by okada riders despite having an allotment from her bank.
Experts commented on the cash crisis stating that it could have been avoided had CBN met the withdrawal limit set earlier on and released sufficient new notes for exchange.
ACMAN president Professor Uche Uwaleke said that it was good for CBN to prove their law-abiding culture by following court orders however more measures should be taken such as introducing lower-denomination notes into circulation and ATMs so that people can transact without any difficulty.
Highcap Securities Vice Chairman David Adonri concluded by saying if CBN had properly implemented their policy and supplied new notes for withdrawn ones then none of this would have happened in the first place.
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