The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country.
The bank made this known in a statement signed by the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Thursday.
“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to reports of alleged scarcity of cash at banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), Points of Sale and among Bureaux de Change (BOGS) in some major cities across the country,” the statement said.
Based on this, the CBN urged members of the public to guard against panic withdrawals as “there is sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities”.
“Nigerians are also advised to embrace alternative modes of payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash,” the CBN said.
Millions of Nigerians experienced extreme difficulties early this year after the CBN commenced the implementation of its naira redesign policy which was announced on 26 October last year.
The bank had said it would introduce newly redesigned 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes into the country’s financial system. But after the notes were unveiled, millions of Nigerians across the country were unable to access them from banks and ATM cash points.
The development triggered protests and frustration among bank users who took to the streets to express their grievances.
In the midst of the crisis, the CBN extended the deadline for the phasing out of the old notes from 31 January to 10 February. Yet, many Nigerians and several businesses had a hard time functioning effectively due to difficulty getting the new notes.
Amid the hardship being faced by Nigerians, the country’s Supreme Court gave an order restraining the CBN from going ahead with the implementation of the 10 February deadline set for the phasing out of the old notes.
But in his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari during a live broadcast only approved the continued use of the old N200 notes up until April. Thus, the naira scarcity persisted.
On 3 March, the Supreme Court later ruled that the old notes be recirculated alongside the new notes until 31 December.
The recent reaction of the CBN came amidst reports making the rounds raising concerns over cash scarcity across Deposit Money Banks in the country.
On Thursday, the apex bank said it discovered that the seeming cash scarcity noticed in some bank locations in the country is due to the high volume of withdrawals from the CBN by commercial banks.
“Our findings reveal that the seeming cash scarcity in some locations is due largely to high volume withdrawals from the CBN branches by Deposit Money Banks (OMBs) and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs,” the statement said.
“While we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country. “
The CBN noted that its branches across the country are also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation.
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