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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Banks Only Authorised to Dispense New Naira Notes via ATMs, CBN Clarifies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, clarified that for now, banks were only authorised to dispense the new N200, N500 and N1,000 Naira notes through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

The apex said it had intensified efforts to ramp up circulation of the new notes.

The bank, also yesterday, reiterated that there would be no extension of the January 31 deadline for the return of old N200, N500 and N1, 000 notes to the banks.

In addition, the central bank, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and various market associations, would beginning from tomorrow commence aggressive enlightenment and public awareness campaign on the naira redesign project as well as the need to properly handle the naira notes.

Speaking on the distribution of the new naira notes, the official said, “Banks are barred from distributing the new notes over-the-counter. All new notes must go to the ATMs. The directive to the banks from the central bank is that as they must dispense through their ATMs nationwide and people can go to the ATMs to collect the money. They cannot dispense the new notes across the counter for now until the exhaust the new notes. And when that happen they can then upload the old notes. Until they get another supply of new notes.

“That is the only way to ensure that the new notes are being circulated. Otherwise, what the banks were doing from our intelligence, was that they were holding the cash and giving it to high profile individuals and customers over-the-counter and not circulating it to ordinary customers. So, we decided they must only dispense it through ATM machines for now until it fully circulates in the financial system.”

Meanwhile, the central bank, in collaboration with the NOA and various market associations, in what has been tagged, “Market Storm,” would commence aggressive public enlightenment on the naira redesign project from tomorrow.

On Tuesday, the exercise would hold in various markets in Gombe, Minna and Asaba, in the first phase, and also hold in Kano, Ogun and Onitsha this Thursday. The exercise would be extended to other major cities across the country from next week.

“The essence is to continue to enlighten market people on why the naira redesign project was embarked upon, let Nigerians know that they should respect the naira and also encourage them to embrace alternative payment channels,” the CBN said.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had on October 26, 2022, announced the central bank’s resolve to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of the N200, N500, and N1, 000 denominations.

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