In order to ease the lingering cash crisis in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has resolved to release an abundant quantity of old N500 and N1000 notes to commercial banks.
To give way for its new naira designs, he CBN had mopped up almost all the old notes in circulation, making it difficult for Nigerians to access or transact with cash.
According to a report by The Punch, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, had a policy meeting with top bank executives on Wednesday, where he conveyed the bank’s readiness to start releasing banknotes to money deposit banks for easy accessibility by their customers.
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The report revealed that the massive release of the old notes would begin today. Sources who spoke to the newspaper said the bank would discontinue all allied cash withdrawal limits to douse the tension in the country.
“The CBN governor met with bank CEOs this evening virtually. It was a short meeting that lasted for just about 15 minutes. The governor said all old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes would be released to commercial banks beginning from Thursday. The CBN will start with crisp old notes after which the ones deposited by DMBs will be returned. The plan is to flood the economy with cash and ameliorate the challenges Nigerians have been passing through,” an unnamed source reportedly said.
The source was also reported to have said, “Also, the CBN will be cancelling cash withdrawal limits it put in place recently. This means that individuals can now withdraw up to N500,000 across the counter while corporate bodies can do N5m. The CBN is expected to release a circular to this effect later tonight or tomorrow morning (today). But effectively, things should be back to normal as far the cashless policy is concerned.”
After the Supreme Court’s March 3 judgement extending the lifespan of the old N200, N500 and N1,000, it took the apex bank three weeks to speak on the matter.
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It was said that the decision was not unconnected to the notice of a planned protest issued by the Nigerian Labour Congress to its members on Wednesday. The CBN was said to be worried about it and determined to avert the demonstration.
FIJ earlier reported that the NLC, on Wednesday, asked its members nationwide to prepare for a national protest against the continued unavailability of cash.
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