Commercial banks are now able to pay customers with the newly designed naira notes over the counter, per instructions from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN announced in a statement on Thursday that the new guideline was intended to ease the difficulties Nigerians are having accessing the new notes and to shorten lines at ATMs across the country.
The most recent event appears to be just one of CBN’s numerous policy reversals since it first unveiled the naira redesign programme in October of last year.
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The apex banks ordered deposit money banks (DMBs) to stop issuing the notes over the counter after the new naira notes were unveiled and put into circulation on December 15.
But the order has made it difficult for Nigerians to deposit their old notes (N200, N500, and N1,000) before the new deadline of February 10 expires, along with numerous other restrictions that dot the policy.
Citizens have also been spotted swarming ATM machines across the nation in an effort to receive the fresh notes.
The CBN added in the statement, which was signed by Osita Nwanisobi, director of corporate communications, that it was attempting to address issues with access to the newly designed notes.
We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.
While reiterating our commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced naira banknotes, we urge them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues at ATMs. In line with this resolve, the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.
We also admonish members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.