- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered banks to stop over-the-counter payment of new naira notes
- The new notes will only be available via ATM withdrawals
- Inadequate supply of new naira notes has hindered banks from complying with the directive
CBN issued the directive for banks to stop-over-the counter payment of new naira notes on Wednesday, January 4 2023. This means that customers making withdrawals over the counter will be given old naira notes.
Banks are expected to load their ATMs with the new notes in order to make them available to Nigerians. However, the scarcity of the new naira notes has made it difficult for banks to comply.
A bank manager told Punch that they’ve had to mix the old notes with new ones to make withdrawals available at their ATMs.
The manager also said that “only one denomination of the new notes passed the test of dispensing seamlessly through our machines.” In order for the ATMs to dispense the new notes seamlessly, the bank needs to reconfigure the ATM.
While the CBN has not made an official statement on the new directive, a senior official at the apex bank confirmed that the directive was issued to banks.
Addressing the scarcity of the new notes, the official said, “From this weekend, new notes will be available for disbursement to bank customers. We are pushing the ₦1,000 and ₦500 notes through the ATMs for now. The ₦200 will be available later.
This new directive is coming after the CBN placed a ₦20,000 ($27) per day cap on ATM and PoS withdrawals last month. It has since increased the cap on withdrawals following an outcry from citizens.
A survey of banks by Punch revealed that many ATMs were still dispensing old naira notes, calling into question the possibility of CBN meeting its January 31, 2023, deadline to stop the circulation of notes.