BusinessDay

New Naira: banks begin extension of operating hours to 6pm

… Naira gains on dollar supply

Nigerian banks are expected to follow suit as Fidelity Bank Plc has temporarily extended its operating hours to 6.00pm after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that the new naira banknotes would be unveiled on Wednesday.

Banks across the country operate between 8.00am and 4.00pm every working day.

In a notice issued to its customers, Fidelity bank said all its branches will open by 8.00am and close by 6.00pm for weekdays and the same time for Saturdays, specifically for cash deposits.

“Following the CBN announcement on the currency redesign exercise, please note that we have reviewed our working hours. You are encouraged to continue to use our e-channels to transact conveniently,” the notice reads.

Read also: Banks open on Saturdays ahead of naira redesign deadline

Presently Fidelity is the only bank that has started this. “Yes, as it is always the case, other banks will follow suit,” a Lagos based banker said anonymously.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed on Tuesday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow, Wednesday, unveil the new naira banknotes in Abuja.

He disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the 145th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja.

Emefiele said over time the circulation of N500 and N1000 notes will reduce, adding that its availability in large volumes is partly responsible for the inflationary pressure.

Speaking on the possible extension of the deadline on the naira redesign, he said the deadline will not be shifted.

“We are no longer waiting for December 15 to unveil the new note, the president has agreed to unveil the new currency on November 23, 2022,” he said.

Some Nigerian banks commenced Saturday banking towards the end of October 2022, as part of compliance measures to the CBN’s new rules on cash deposit.

The CBN had directed all banks to keep open their currency processing centres from Monday to Saturday so as to accommodate all cash that will be returned by their customers.

Naira on Tuesday appreciated by 0.65 percent (N5) against the dollar following increased dollar supply at the parallel market called the black market.

After trading on Tuesday, the dollar was quoted at N775/$1 as against N780/$1 on Monday at the unofficial market.

The local currency depreciated by 0.03 percent as the dollar was quoted at N445.50 on Tuesday as against the last close of N445.38 on Monday Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window, data from the FMDQ show.

Most currency dealers who participated at the FX auction on Tuesday maintained bids between N431.00 (low) and N447.00 per dollar (high).

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