The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has commenced punitive measures on commercial banks by fining them N1 million per day for each box of new naira notes they refused to pick and disbursed to their customers ahead of the 31st of January 2023 deadline.
The CBN leadership made this known on Friday during a sensitisation programme organised for Osun market women at Ayegbaju market to acquaint them with the new Naira notes of N200, N500, and N1000.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, of Research, CBN, Adeleke Adelokun disclosed that CBN had printed enough new naira notes, however, banks refused to pick them up.
According to him, “CBN has printed enough new naira notes but we discovered that most of the banks have not collected the money. When we discovered that they refused to collect the new naira notes, we put sanctions on the bank with a fine of N1 million per box per day depending on the number of days.
“We also mandated the banks to put new naira notes in the ATM machines all over Nigeria so that Nigerians will have access to the new Naira Notes.”
Meanwhile, the Branch Controller of CBN, Osogbo branch, Madojemu Daphne who was represented by Adebayo Omosolape disclosed that Nigerians hoarded the old naira notes to the tune of N2.7 trillion.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that the old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 will cease to be legal tender after January 31.
The Kano Branch Controller, CBN, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Biu, refused pleas from Nigerians to extend the deadline.
“The old naira notes will cease to be legal tender by January 31, 2023. Pay in your old banknotes to beat the rush,” he said.
The branch controller spoke during the apex bank’s sensitisation tour of the new naira notes in the Kano metropolitan markets.
The sensitisation of the new banknotes was held in Wapa Bureau De Charge Market, Galadima, Sabon Gari, Kwari and Kofar Wanbai markets, organised principally for traders.
Ibrahim disclosed that the new naira notes have been produced enough for distribution to all the commercial banks in the country.
He threatened to slam sanctions on commercial banks hoarding the newly designed banknotes.
Reacting to complaints that the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were still dispensing the old naira notes, the CBN branch controller said the CBN has sent its staff to inspect the bank’s ATMs to ascertain those still dispensing old notes for a query.
He said the traders have the right to report any bank found either hoarding the new naira notes or charging customers before allowing them to deposit their old naira notes.
“You have the right to report any bank found hoarding the new naira notes or refuse to collect your old naira notes before the 31st January 2023 deadline.
“No bank should refuse to collect the old naira notes until the deadline of 31st January, 2023,” he said.
He told the audience that CBN has directed commercial banks to desist from payment of new naira notes on the counter, except through ATMs, as part of efforts to check favouritism of customers regarding the new currency.
“CBN agents are going round to ensure banks comply with the directive of dispensing the new notes via ATM,” he assured.
He explained that there is no limit to the amount of old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes one can deposit in their account.
He said the sensitisation was designed to enlighten the traders on the need to deposit the old notes before the deadline to avoid any loss.
He said the redesign of the naira notes was aimed at checking corruption and addressing inflation as well as boosting the nation’s economy.