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NAIRA: Nigerians complain about scarcity as banks offer old cash to hesitant clients.



More than a week after the Supreme Court ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to keep the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes legal money until December 31, Nigerians are still unable to access cash: both old and new Naira banknotes.

The CBN has set a February 10 deadline for the outdated currencies.


The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that certain denominations of old Naira notes can be used as legal money until December 31.

A visit to certain banks in Ota, Ogun State, Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt found that neither the old nor new banknotes were available, including the unredesigned N20, N50, and N100 notes.


According to a bank official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the bank has not begun paying out the old notes because there is no direction from the CBN and the apex bank has not released the notes.

Mr. Ciro Ojukwu, a bank customer in Ota, Ogun State, stated that the new naira currency is rare and limited in circulation.


“A big number of people are unable to access their money since most automated teller machines (ATMs) are not filled, and little or no cash is dispensed over the counter in banking halls,” he bemoaned. This is extremely aggravating!

Another client, Idris Hassan in Lagos complained: “When one eventually discovers any ATM dispensing the new or old Naira note, only N5,000 per debit card, and regardless of this deficiencies continual charges attack one’s accounts.


Another customer, Wahab Leke, was interviewed and told that his firm had been shut down since he couldn’t buy anything from the market or conduct any transactions. People are dying in hospitals, and market vendors are weeping over the unending naira shortage.

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Adding fuel to the flames, Point of Sale (PoS) transaction fees have risen to levels that have rendered most customers unable to withdraw money using this method again.

Ms. Uche Hillary, a PoS attendant, stated that it is difficult to obtain cash from the bank and that when you do, you must have purchased the cash at an excessive rate from the management.


“This is the reason for the price increase because how can you acquire cash and then collect charges from customers at the normal price?” she explained. Another alternative to using banks is for an individual to bring cash and sell it to us. For example, if they deliver N10,000, they could charge N2,000.

“Now, there is no cash around, and the only way we can do business is to transfer to people’s accounts or perform other cashless transactions using the PoS,” said another PoS operator. Some of my (PoS) company colleagues have quit because they can no longer afford to buy cash at these exorbitant prices. “I’ve stopped buying cash and can only make transfers for customers,” she explained.

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