Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has refuted rumours of naira scarcity in the country, amid reports that there is no sufficient cash circulation in some commercial banks nationwide.
The apex bank while reacting to reports of alleged scarcity of cash at the banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), Points of Sale (PoS) and Bureaux de Change (BDC) in some major cities across the country, said the seeming cash scarcity in some locations was largely due to high volume withdrawals from the CBN branches by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs.
There were reported cases of panic withdrawals in parts of Nigeria over the fear that banknotes could be scarce as was experienced at the end of year 2022 festivities, especially as the bank was yet to comment on continued use of the redesigned higher-denominations of the old currency notes.
The court had extended the use of the old banknotes till December 2023 to allow a better circulation of the new notes.
CBN spokesman, Isa AbdulMumin, said in a statement, “we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country. The branches of the CBN across the country are also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation.
“Members of the public are, therefore, advised to guard against panic withdrawals as there is sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities. Nigerians are also advised to embrace alternative modes of payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash.”