• Friday, June 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigerians get reprieve as cash scarcity eases

Nigerians get reprieve as cash scarcity eases

Many Nigerians took turns on Monday to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines and over the counter, as banks dispensed old naira notes to customers following the directive given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Some of those who made withdrawals on Monday did that for the time since the cash crisis began. The CBN had confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country as part of efforts to boost the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.

The CBN also directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays. Our correspondent visited some branches in Lagos and observed customers queuing up to withdraw money.

Some customers withdrew more than the N20,000 daily limit earlier stipulated by the CBN, as withdrawal limits have been removed.

A customer who gave his name simply as Wale said Monday was the first time he got money within the banking hall since January. “I was able to get N20,000 at Access Bank in Obalende. It was very easy to get the money. There was no queue to get cash but there were a lot of people at the customer care. People were happy; I met someone there that said that he finally sets eyes on money in his account,” he said.

“At past 9am, in a Zenith branch at Obalande, I was able to withdraw N20,000 without staying on the queue to my surprise. It didn’t take me 20 minutes to withdraw, the fastest since the cash crunch. I wasn’t desperate because I have someone who supplies me cash and I got N30,000 of recent, I withdrew because there was no queue to get it,” said Udo Akpan, an employee of an Ikoyi-based firm.

Read also: Churches hit by cash scarcity

On Saturday afternoon, Feyikemi was able to withdraw N10,000 from FCMB. “This was the first time she was able to withdraw since the cash crunch. I am very happy because I used to pay N1,000 for N5,000 and also begged a lot of people for petty cash N1,000.”

BusinessDay had reported that banks across the country opened their doors to customers for withdrawals and deposits, bringing an end to long queues and pains suffered as a result of the naira redesign policy of the CBN.

On October 26, the CBN announced plans to redesign the high-value naira notes – N200, N500 and N1,000, aimed at reducing the volume of cash outside the vault of deposit money banks.

The CBN also reintroduced the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million respectively.