Despite the reintroduction of the old N500 and N1000 notes following a Supreme Court order extending their validity till December, 2023, commercial banks in the country are still struggling to meet their customers’ Naira notes demands.
Banks have continued to await cash disbursement from the CBN to enable them meet the cash needs of customers.
A visit to most of the banks in Lagos shows that customers still queue outside with many being turned away, and only those transferring funds were allowed inside the banking halls.
Some of the banks’ employees who spoke under condition of anonymity said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stopped the supply of the new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to the Money Deposit Banks (DMBs).
The banks also lamented that the old notes issued to them were not adequate to meet customers’ demands
“The kind of money we’ve been receiving is not from the Mint at all. I don’t know what has happened to the new notes,” a bank staff member said.
The source said, unlike in the past, “regardless of the size and location of a bank branch, the CBN only allocates what it feels like to the banks.”
This limited cash supply from the CBN, the bank staff member said, is what is responsible for the cash shortage in the system.
In Ibeju-lekki Lagos, bank customers besieged banks in a bid to collect cash were disappointed as majority of the banks were not paying cash.
Checks showed that only a few banks were paying every customer between N5,000 and N10,000
In many of the banks’ branches across the state, cash was being rationed among customers, limiting it to N5,000 and N10,000 daily.
“I have checked in over five banks’ ATMs and none was dispensing cash. I expected the cash crunch to ease after the elections, but that is not happening,” one bank customer said.
“I waited for three hours from 8.am to 11 am before I was paid N5,000. I will be back tomorrow because the N5,000 cannot meet my immediate financial needs,” one customer said.
Meanwhile, financial analyst and MD/CEO of Danzert Concept, Shina Awosoro said the lingering scarcity of new Naira notes might reach an unbearable level thus leading to confusion.
He said he is optimistic that the “government might likely take action now that the elections are over because “their silence has caused increased hardship and has affected commerce.”