The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks to immediately retrieve the old naira notes they deposited in its branches to ease the cash crunch across the country.
Recall that the apex bank had mopped up the old N1, 000, N500 and N200 notes in response to the introduction of new ones as part of the cashless policy of the federal government.
As the cash crunch takes heavy toll on the citizens and the economy and amid mounting pressure from various stakeholders for the CBN to rethink its stance on the cashless policy to ease the pains Nigerians are going through, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele had claimed that all the old notes withdrawn from circulation had been destroyed.
And despite the Supreme Court judgement that directed the old and new notes be used together up till December 31, the money in circulation remained scanty as Nigerians struggled to live a normal life.
But credible sources at the CBN disclosed that starting today, the commercial banks were free to withdraw the old notes they kept at the apex bank.
Even though the sources did not explain how much the banks could withdraw from what they deposited, one of them said the plan was to make “enough funds” available before the end of the week to stimulate the economy.
“The CBN said banks have been instructed to collect the old naira notes they deposited and that before the end of the week, the country would be awash with naira notes,” Daily Trust quoted the source as saying.
This latest move and instruction from the apex bank came hours after the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) directed all workers to picket all branch offices of the CBN nationwide starting next week over the current naira scarcity in the country.
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