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CBN reverses self, directs banks to pay new Naira notes over the counter, sets limit



The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed commercial banks to pay Nigerians withdrawing cash over-the-counter with new naira notes.

CBN gave the directives in a circular published on Thursday on its website and signed by Osita Nwanisobi, Director, Corporate Communications

Part of the circular reads: “In line with this resolve, the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.

“We also admonish members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.

“The Naira is our legal tender and symbol of national pride. Therefore, let us respect it and handle it with care.”

CBN in the circular also announced plans to arrest and prosecute sellers, abusers of naira

“We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.

Read also:Naira records mix trading day as CBN bows to reps’ pressure

“Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.

“Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.”

“We, therefore, warn Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings, and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the Naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies”.

The apex bank had in a previous memo directed banks not to give out the new naira notes over the counter, but load it into their ATMs.

CBN’s decision reverses an earlier one taken by the bankers’ committee that banks should only pay customers over the counter with lower denomination naira notes.

But with Videos of Nigerians protesting at banking halls and also long queues at ATMs, CBN had no choice but to adjust its earlier decision.

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