17 days to the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the stoppage of the circulation of the old Naira notes, millions of Nigerians still haven’t seen the new ones, especially in remote places and villages.
The Apex Bank has directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with only the redesigned naira notes to ensure that the currency circulates across the nation ahead of the January 31, 2023, deadline when the old notes will no longer be legal tender.
It has been observed that most ATM galleries are still not dispensing the new bank notes.
AllNews Nigeria spoke with some bank officials who disclosed that they still don’t have the new naira notes in their branches, even though CBN claims the new notes in circulation are huge.
A source from First Bank, Ikeja Branch who pleaded anonymity said there is inadequate supply of the new notes, which is the reason why the bank is still loading the ATMs with the old notes.
“We basically don’t have the redesigned naira notes at all.
“Sometime last week, the only amount we got was about N500,000 of N1,000 denominations and as soon as that was shared among a few early customers, that was all”, the source shared.
The same was also reported at the Access Bank branch in Maryland, Lagos State.
A bank teller in the branch who spoke with AllNews Nigeria also complained of a lack of supply of the new notes.
“Truly, we got the memo from the CBN ordering all banks to load our ATMs with the new notes, but how is this possible when we don’t even have it in the bank?
"Well, to me, I think the few pieces of the new naira notes currently in circulation are just for people to be able to recognise the money, and not for the purpose of spending it generally, because if that is really the aim, I believe by now, we should have had enough."
Omolade, a customer support officer at GTBank, Ikeja Branch also complained of the unavailability of the redesigned currency in the bank.
When asked why the branch ATM is not loaded with the new naira notes, she said: “The fault is not from us, but we don’t have the new naira notes in the bank at all."
Ade, a customer at the branch, who is also a PoS operator, said he is scared of having the old notes with him till January 31, 2023, which is the deadline for the circulation of the old naira notes.
“Since the new naira notes have been in circulation, I have not had the opportunity to withdraw it not to talk of giving it to customers.
“Seeing or touching the new naira notes is not even a problem, but my fear is that I don’t want to have the old notes with me till January 31, 2023.”
AllNews Nigeria observed that as of Friday, January 13, Wema Bank branch in Ilaro, Ogun State was dispensing the new naira notes.
Speaking on the development, Leye, a customer support officer in the bank said, "We have configured our ATMs to pay the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes at a go, depending on the amount you are withdrawing.
"People are rushing to use our atm all because of the new notes, however, we receive various comments from customers everyday on the new notes, saying it looks fake."
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