Banks Run Out Of New Notes, ATMs Still Dispensing Old Notes
Despite the lukewarm reception of the new banknotes by users, banks ran out of their distribution of new naira notes.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The freshly redesigned naira notes were met with mixed emotions in banking halls around the country on Thursday, December 15, 2022, as many bank clients desired the new notes while a few others preferred the old ones.
The revised N1,000, N500, and N200 notes were officially distributed on Thursday, three weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari introduced them.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, revealed on October 26 plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations, as well as proclaiming that the previous notes will cease to be legal tender by January 31, 2023.
According to The Punch, banks in numerous locations throughout the nation, particularly in Lagos and Abuja, have already used up the modest amounts of the fresh notes allocated to them by their head offices as of midday on Thursday.
The newspaper also learned that numerous bank branches had not yet received their allotment of the new notes, despite many bank personnel stating that they were still anticipating their arrival.
According to other bank employees who talked to The Punch under the condition of anonymity, their allotments were relatively little.
An Access Bank Plc representative at the Ojodu branch in Lago who asked to remain anonymous said, “Each cashier was given N100,000 of the new N1,000 bill for onward disbursements to customers seeking over-the-counter payments. We don’t have the other denominations of N500 and N200 yet. We don’t have enough supply of the new notes for now.”
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were still dispensing outdated naira notes on Thursday, as this reporter noticed while visiting multiple bank locations.
After the ATM distributed the outdated naira notes, a guy who had visited a Zenith Bank branch in Yaba, Lagos, fled in dismay.
The client said to the Pulse correspondent that he intended to withdraw money from the ATM in order to obtain the brand-new naira notes.
The Punch also stated that only old naira notes could be withdrawn from the ATMs at the Access Bank in Ojodu.
Customers were reportedly spotted placing old money over the counter as cashiers were dispensing additional old naira notes inside the center, according to the newspaper.
However, in a few instances, it was seen that the cashiers mixed the old and new naira notes in the payments made over the counter.
Certain clients reportedly refused to accept the new notes after hearing that some local merchants were refusing to accept them as legal cash, as seen in some bank halls on Thursday, according to The Punch.
A bank teller in Ogba, Lagos, confirmed the scenario to the newspaper, “Some customers have been rejecting the new naira notes whenever we give them; they said the new notes would not be collected from them in the market; they prefer the old notes.”
According to The Punch, just one of the 10 bank offices that were visited in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja used the new notes to pay clients.
In a similar line, out of the several ATM galleries visited in the FCT, just one of the ATM centers dispensed the new naira notes.
The Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Taj Bank, and Access Bank Plc located in Jabi Garage and the Central Business District are among the banks the paper visited.
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