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Confusion as CBN issues conflicting directives on old bank notes



The crisis in the polity over the naira redesign and naira swap policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been further worsened by conflicting directives sent out by the apex bank.

This confusion has led to the CBN and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holdings, United Bank for Africa (UBA) EcoBank and others issuing different directives to Nigerians over deposits of old N500 and N1,000 notes.

First Bank in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria, told its customers that old Notes can now be deposited across their branches within the country. Same thing a few other banks.

“This is to inform you that our branches shall receive old notes up to a maximum of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) after registration on the CBN portal.

“Please note that deposits of more than N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) should be taken to the nearest CBN location.

“In addition, our branches will be open tomorrow, Saturday 18 February 2023 to receive old notes,” First Bank posted in a now deleted tweet.

Also, United Bank for Africa (UBA) sent an email to its account users on Friday, stating that, “We have not stopped collecting old N500 and N1000 notes.”

“Please note that the maximum deposit value is N500,000 per customer. Our branches continue to remain open for the cash deposits on Saturdays,” UBA added in an email posted on Twitter by a user, @_Mrkayy.

Also, on the CBN website, tracked by Ripples Nigeria, the CBN had written that Nigerians should generate a reference code, print it out and “proceed to your selected bank branch to deposit your old N1000, N500 and N200 notes into your bank account.”

However, in a shocking move, the CBN’s corporate communications director, Osita Nwansiobi, released a statement on Twitter on Friday evening, stating that the central bank has not ordered DMBs to accept old N500 and N1000 deposits.

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to some take and unauthorized messages quoting the CBN as having authorized the Deposit Money Banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 Banknotes. For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to ONLY reissue and recirculate the old N200 banknotes and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10, 2023.

“Members of the public should therefore disregard any message and/or information not formally released by the Central Bank of Nigeria on this subject,” CBN wrote in the statement.

See below screen grabs of the CBN message telling Nigerian to deposit old notes at their banks, the twitter denial, and the banks’ messages.

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