Saturday, 17 December 2022

Why New Naira Notes Are Difficult To Obtain In Banks


 


Twenty-four hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria directed deposit money banks to start giving the redesigned naira notes to customers, partygoers, high net worth customers and currency traffickers are mopping up the new notes from the banks even as the notes are being rationed to the majority of customers.

It was  gathered on Friday that despite the official position of the banks that the new notes were not available in huge volumes, some categories of influential customers had infiltrated the banks and were being given new notes far above the limits set by the lenders.

A visit to a branch of a new generation bank in the Abule Egba area of Lagos State on Friday, was told that the new notes were no longer available as what was allocated to the branch had been exhausted before 10am.

A senior official of the bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We received about N1.5m in N1,000 notes on Wednesday from our head office. We gave out about N250,000 on Thursday when the redesigned naira notes officially hit the market as a lot of customers were hesitant to collect them.

“However, by this morning (Friday), the request for the new notes across the counter had surged.

 What we noticed was that some high net worth customers requested far above the limit we set per customer, which was N10,000. Some of them requested between N100,000 and N200,000 and they are customers we can’t ignore their requests.”

A branch manager of a tier-1 bank on Lagos Island said, “The latest instruction from our head office is that we should not give more than N50,000 per customer and we are giving out the new notes. It is against the CBN rule to keep cash in our vaults. Initially, the limit per customer was set at N2,000 and it was later increased to N10,000 and has been increased to N50,000.

“However, some high net worth customers have been calling to ask for higher amounts of up to N300,000. You have to manage a customer whose account balance is up to N5bn. We use our discretion in such circumstances.”


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