The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday expressed worry over reports of insufficient supply of Naira notes at various business places across the country.
The apex bank in a statement in Abuja by its Director, Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, allayed fears about scarcity cash or insufficient stock of Naira notes at banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), Points of Sale (PoS), and Bureaux de Change
(BDCs) in some major cities across the country.
AbdulMumin said findings by the Bank revealed that the seeming cash scarcity in some locations was due largely to high volume
withdrawals from the CBN branches by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs.
“While 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,” AbdulMumin said.
He said the CBN branches across the country were also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation.
Advising members of the public to guard against panic withdrawals, the CBN said there was sufficient stock of the currency notes to facilitate economic activities.
The Bank urged Nigerians to embrace alternative modes of
Payment to reduce pressure on using physical cash in their transactions.
The scarcity is being reported as the December 31, 2023 deadline for the old N1000, N500, and N200 banknotes to be phased out.
Following the controversy that trailed the Naira redesign policy introduced by the CBN late last year, the Bank was compelled to reveal the deadline and reschedule the old notes.
Although it was not clear what could have instigated the panic withdrawal of cash by bank customers, report pointed at a purported plan by the CBN to redenominate the Naira, which has been performing dismally against the dollar and other major international currencies in recent times.
The information went viral following the circulation of a text message purported to have emanated from the CBN which suggested the planned Naira redenomination exercise was scheduled to take effect from January 2024.
But, CBN has since denied any such plan, saying it was concerned that despite that the narrative had been refuted before was again gaining traction, with several debates on the implication of such a policy for the Nigerian economy.
“We wish to reiterate that the contents of the message are misleading. The authors of the message, in their mischief, modified text eked from an old policy move by a previous CBN Governor in 2007 to make it appear recent.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is currently no plan by the Bank to restructure and redenominate the naira. Whilst the Bank may be considering reforms, such are subject to laid down procedures in line with the provisions of the CBN Act, 2007.
”The public is hereby advised to ignore the news report, as it is speculative and calculated to cause panic in the polity,” the CBN said.