Connect with us

Business

New naira deadline: Kano, Ondo, Anambra depositors flood banks with old notes

Published

on

New naira deadline: Kano, Ondo, Anambra depositors flood banks with old notes

Bank clients have begun racing to banks throughout the nation to swap their old notes for new ones in an effort to deposit old notes before the deadline of January 31 set forth for the phasing out of the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes, according to findings by DAILYUPDATES

This occurred while the National Assembly, important stakeholders, and bank clients appealed, but the Central Bank of Nigeria stated on Tuesday that the deadline could not be extended.

Advertisement

The CBN had repeatedly urged Nigerians to deposit their old currencies in banks by the specified time, regardless of the value.

Dailyupdates discovered on Tuesday that there were lines of bank customers waiting to exchange the old notes for the new naira bills before the deadline in places like Anambra, Borno, Kano, Ondo, Osun, and  among others.

Advertisement

Anambra

On Tuesday, customers flocked to banks in Onitsha, Nnewi, and Awka’s major cities to exchange their old naira notes.

Advertisement

While keeping an eye on the issue, our correspondent noticed that many ATMs in Onitsha, Awka, and Nnewi were still dispensing the old notes, much to the annoyance of bank clients.

On Tuesday, a town crier went around Onitsha’s vehicle parks and market areas to inform the public that “old notes would no longer be accepted for transaction at the motor parks and marketplaces with effect from Thursday (this week).

Advertisement

A few days ago, shopkeepers at the Main Market in Onitsha complained to Central Bank of Nigeria staff members visiting the market for a sensitization program about how bank staff were hoarding and selling fresh naira notes in the city.

Borno

Advertisement

In the city of Maiduguri, banks have been experiencing a build-up of more boisterous crowds than usual as most clients rush to deposit their old naira notes while some struggle to withdraw the new ones.

Zenith Bank’s Monday Market branch had lines so lengthy that people could only enter the banking area in groups of ten to fifteen.

Advertisement

Mr. Ahmed Hassan, who manages a corporate account with the bank, said, “I tried to deposit N2 million of the old notes yesterday, but I could not because of the crowd, coupled with the fact that counting a huge amount of cash seems so tedious for the bank staff, that they can only serve a relatively smaller number of depositors daily.”

“I have just been able to deposit the cash today (Tuesday) after spending three hours in the banking hall, not even in the queue outside,” he said.

Advertisement

Dailyupdates observed that many depositors, who trooped to the banks to deposit the old notes on Monday, could not do so. Many of them complained that they might not be able to do it on Tuesday.

At the Jaiz Bank at Shehu Laminu Way, apart from the crowd of seemingly helpless depositors in the banking hall, the queue at the ATM featured occasional brawls by customers engaged in a struggle to withdraw the new notes.

Advertisement

“I needed to withdraw N30,000, but I didn’t want to wait in the huge line by the ATM. Later, the bank employees drove us out of the building. A customer who wished to remain anonymous said, “The officials advised us that we should either take old notes over-the-counter or put up with the ATM line and crowd to withdraw new ones.

The ATMs in five banks that the CBN is watching dispense fresh notes, with the N1,000 note making up the majority of them.

Advertisement

However, a number of customers voiced their displeasure about the N200 and N500 note shortages.

Kano

Advertisement

In order to obtain the new naira notes or deposit the old notes before the Central Bank of Nigeria’s deadline on January 31, customers flocked to several commercial banks in the historic city of Kano on Tuesday.

Customers who were spotted in long lines at most banks bemoaned the fact that most banks had not yet distributed the new naira notes.

Advertisement

While some ATMs were shown to be working, several appeared to be inactive due to being abandoned.

Few ATMs were issuing the new naira notes at the concentration of banks around Zoo Road, Murtala Mohammed Way, and Maiduguri Road.

Advertisement

It was learned that in some banks, only a select few lucky customers were receiving the new notes, therefore old notes were still being given to consumers withdrawing cash over the counter.

The CBN spoke with a few clients at the First Bank on Zoo Road branch who were quite concerned about the lack of the new notes and the banks’ inability to provide reasonable explanations.

Advertisement

One of the clients, who merely went by the name Lawan, claimed that he left his house as early as 7 am in order to withdraw only N20,000 but was only able to receive N10,000 due to a bad network.

No bank has been able to provide an explanation for why these events have occurred because it is difficult to deposit or withdraw new notes, according to Lawan.

Advertisement

Adamu Abdullahi, a different customer, claimed to have waited more than four hours in line before being able to deposit his old naira notes.

“I arrived here around 8:30 am, but owing to the enormous line of clients, I was unable to deposit the money until after 4 pm,” he claimed.

Advertisement

Many vendors had stopped gathering the old naira notes as of the time this piece was filed because the entire process was fraught with difficulties.

Ondo

Advertisement

Customers flocked to commercial banks in Ondo State on Tuesday to deposit and withdraw new currency.

It was noted that farmers and market dealers made up the majority of the clientele. Some of them made the trip to Akure and other large towns from rural towns and villages, where there are no commercial banks. Some of them were allegedly PoS operators.

Advertisement

Mr. Sunday Adeoye, one of the clients who traveled from Oba Akoko in the Akoko South-West Local Government, bemoaned the dearth of sufficient commercial banks in the Akoko region.

Because there are no banks in the area, Adeoye stated that some consumers would go to Ikare for new currency from Ipesi Akoko, Igashi Akoko, and Ikakumo. As a result of rising fuel prices and a lack of fuel in Akokoland, this is too stressful and expensive.

Advertisement

Another client complained that the new notes were not yet being circulated as anticipated. Alhaji Ismaila Musa is a farmer from the Eleyowo community in the Akure North Local Government.

“We are requesting that banks abide by CBN orders and make the new notes available to us all,” he stated. Since we haven’t seen the new notes in our area, we must travel to Akure to deposit the old money.

Advertisement

Osun

When I visited many commercial bank offices in Osogbo, Osun State on Tuesday, there were long lines of consumers putting old notes in the deposit box.

Advertisement

Many bank customers waited for a very long time in line to deposit their old notes at the banks on the Station Road, Gbongan/Osogbo, and Alekuwodo neighborhoods of Osogbo.

Additionally, several of the clients insisted on being paid with fresh notes rather than accepting old ones as payment over the counter. But several of the ATMs in the banks we visited were dispensing fresh bills.

Advertisement

Haruna Ibrahim, a client, claimed it took him over two hours to deposit his old notes.

He claimed that many people, particularly minor dealers, were rushing to beat the deadline as they became more aware of the day that the old notes will stop being accepted as legal cash.

Advertisement

Sokoto

In addition, there were lengthy lines at a number of bank locations and ATM galleries in Sokoto on Tuesday as people rushed to get their hands on the new naira notes.

Advertisement

As clients flocked to the banking halls in search of new notes, many banks in the state were compelled to close their doors.

According to Dailyupdates, there were lengthy client lines at the locations of several financial institutions, including Access Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Zenith Bank Plc, and Polaris Bank.

Advertisement

Alhaji Aminu Maishanu, a bank customer, described his experience to our correspondent and claimed that he had waited more than three hours to withdraw cash.

However, he made a request to the state’s bank administration to make sure that all of their ATMs were dispensing the new notes.

Advertisement

The fact that just one machine out of five is operational, he explained, is why we spent so much time here. Why they couldn’t load other machines to make things simpler for customers is beyond me.

“How do you explain that when you’re arguing that the old naira notes won’t be useful after this month and the new ones aren’t yet widely used?”

Advertisement

NASS seeks extension

In the meantime, the Senate on Tuesday urged the CBN to change the January 31 deadline for the exchange of obsolete naira notes to July 31 2023.

Advertisement

The old naira notes would cease to be legal money on January 31 according to a statement made by the apex bank in October of last year.

A resolution urging the CBN to extend the deadline to June 30 was approved by the Senate in December.

Advertisement

However, the CBN’s insistence that the deadline not be changed prompted Senator Sadiq Umar (APC, Kwara North) to introduce a motion on the red chamber’s floor on Tuesday calling for an extension until July 31.

The majority of senators who participated in the discussion strongly supported the extension, citing the dearth of new notes at banks and at different ATMs across the nation as justification.

Advertisement

The prayers were put to the vote by Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, and the legislators voted in favor of extending the deadline from January 31 to July 31.

The House of Representatives also wrote a letter to President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) regarding the impending crisis brought on by the CBN’s deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old naira notes for new ones, which was set for January 31.

Advertisement

Along with inviting Deposit Money Banks, commonly known as commercial banks, to a meeting on Wednesday (today) to discuss the shortage of new naira notes, the House also asked the CBN to extend the window for exchanging the old notes with the newly redesigned ones by six months.

Under the direction of the Bankers’ Committee, the managing directors/chief executive officers of the banks will meet with an ad hoc committee of the House that will be presided over by the majority leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

Advertisement

The House specifically decided that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s apparent supply constraint should be explained by the banks, and that the MPs should then interrogate the central bank’s leadership.

“Call on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the CBN’s insistence on the close deadline for the implementation of the cashless policy and currency swap,” the House says.

Advertisement

The MPs also urged the CBN to “examine the daily withdrawal limit and the charges therefrom” and to keep the cashless policy in effect for “at least six months.”

The resolution was passed after a motion of urgent public concern made by Sara Soli, a Katsina State representative, was unanimously approved at the start of the plenary on Tuesday.

Advertisement

Despite the fact that Nigerians had limited access to the new N1,000, N500, and N200 notes, Soli highlighted that the CBN was pushing on the January 31 validity date.

 

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
error: Content is protected !!

Discover more from Daily Updates News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading