Banks have reduced the volume of new naira notes they dispense to customers per cash withdrawal by about 50 percent leading to increased anxiety over the January 31st deadline when the old notes will cease to be legal tender.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in a bid to protect Nigerians from falling victim to counterfeiters, has released details and positions of the security features in the new N200, N500, and N1000 notes.
Vanguard investigations revealed that some banks now give their customers N4,000 in the redesigned N1,000 note for cash withdrawal of N100,000, while some give N5,000 in redesigned note per N200,000 cash withdrawal.
This is a sharp reduction from the N10,000 in redesigned notes given to customers per N100,000 last week when the banks commenced circulation of the new notes.
Lamenting the limited supply of the new notes, a bank customer at the Access Bank branch, Ikotun Lagos, Mrs. Sarah Okoyomo, told Vanguard, “I just withdrew N50,000 over the counter and was paid N48,000 old notes and N2,000 new notes. How can these new notes circulate with such little disbursement?”
The situation was also the same at the Igando branch of First Bank, where Oluwashina Olabode, a Point-of-Sale (PoS) operator, told Vanguard that the rationing of the redesigned naira notes has worsened due to scarcity adding that his customers also complained about paying them in old notes instead of newly redesigned notes.
“When I came here last Friday to make a withdrawal of N200,000, I was paid N180,000 in old notes and N20,000 in new notes. Today I was paid just N5000 in new notes after withdrawing the same amount”.
Mr. Makinde Olowoeyo, a Guarantee Trust Bank Oshodi branch customer said, “My friend withdrew N100,000 last week and was given N10,000 of the redesigned notes but when I withdrew N100,000 today my hope was dashed as I was paid N3,000 redesigned notes out of the N100,000.