Banks open on Saturdays ahead of naira redesign deadline
Some Nigerian banks have commenced Saturday banking as part of compliance measures to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s new rules on deposit.
Nigeria’s Central Bank announced plans to introduce new banknotes to replace the current N200, N500 and N1,000 notes with effect from December 15, 2022.
The CBN had directed all banks to keep open, their currency processing centers from Monday to Saturday so as to accommodate all cash that will be returned by their customers.
Consequently, one of Nigeria’s tier two banks opened for business on Saturday, calling customers to come and deposit their cash.
“I received a call from my account officer telling me that I can come and deposit my money today (Saturday)”, a trader who deals in wholesale foodstuff said in Lagos market.
On Friday, banks issued notification to their customers on the need to begin to deposit old banknotes in the branches close to them.
“In line with this directive, you are advised to deposit all old banknotes to the bank latest 31st Jan 2023. The new banknotes will be in circulation effective December 15, 2022 and can be accessed in any Fidelity Bank branch. Kindly note that the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023 when the existing currency shall cease to be legal tender,” Fidelity Bank said in a notice to their customers.
Also, Access Bank on Friday issued an update to its customers, saying, “Dear valued customer, this is to inform you that the Central Bank of Nigeria will issue a new series of naira notes beginning December 15, 2022. Beat the rush; visit an Access bank location now to deposit your cash.”
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN who disclosed the plans for the banknotes redesign in Abuja said for the purpose of this transition from existing to new notes, bank charges for cash deposits have been suspended with immediate effect and that DMBs are to note that no bank customer shall bear any charges for cash returned/paid into their accounts.
Accordingly, he said all deposit money banks currently holding the existing denominations of the currency may begin returning these banknotes back to the CBN effective immediately. The newly designed currency will be released to the banks in the order of first-come-first-serve basis.
Emefiele said customers of banks are enjoined to begin paying into their bank accounts the existing currency to enable them withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins in mid-December 2022.
“We would like to use this opportunity to reassure the general public that the CBN would continue to monitor both the financial system in particular, and the economy in general, and always act in good faith for the achievement of the Bank’s objectives and the betterment of the country,” he said.