The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed commercial banks to immediately collect 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.
At the height of pressure from various stakeholders for the CBN to relax 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policy to ease the pains Nigerians are going through, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele had claimed that all the old notes withdrawn from circulation had been destroyed.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.
A source at the CBN disclosed this on Wednesday.
According to him, the apex bank has concluded plans to disburse old notes to Deposit Money Banks across the country starting from Thursday (today).
He added that the development would end the two-month-long Naira scarcity in Nigeria.
This comes on the heels of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, planned nationwide strike and protests in CBN offices following the hardship created by the bank’s naira redesign policy.
The CBN’s latest decision came several weeks after the Supreme Court ordered that old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes should remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
Economic expert, a lecturer at Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof Godwin Oyedokun, has said that the CBN is willing to release cash to commercial banks after the general elections.
He explained that since the polls were over, the CBN would begin the disbursement of the new and old notes.