Pressure over failure of cash has worsened across the country, with millions of Nigerians denied access to their savings.
From the agony of failed electronic money transfer to the pains of staying endlessly on line to use an Automated Teller Machine( ATM), thousands of homes are moaning amid cash failure, indeed as numerous have run out of essential inventories.
Amid the innumerous difficulty, the traditional cash points( bank tellers) have suspended operations, as they’ve no cash to apportion, both old and new notes. Top bankers, in separate exchanges, told AFLM they’re cautious of possible sanction by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN), hence, they suspended the cash payment.
After several days of standoff with the House of Representatives in which the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had hovered to issue an arrest warrant on the apex bank chief, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, palliated fears that the old naira notes would no longer be tenable after expiration of the February 10 deadline for the naira exchange policy.
Speaking when he appeared before the Ado Doguwa- led House of Representatives ad-hoc commission, he pledged to cleave to Sections 20, min sub-section 3, 4, 5 of the CBN Act.
The CBN governor said Nigerians could be rest assured that they would be allowed to deposit their old naira notes with the apex bank indeed after the deadline as quested by the CBN Act.
Emefiele, who was accompanied by top CBN officers, pledged to insure indifferent and transparent distribution of the new naira notes to all banking outlets across the country.
Expressing satisfaction with the enthusiasm so far displayed by Nigerians over the naira redesign and exchange policy, he lowered on officers of some marketable banks that indulge in the unwholesome act of hoarding the new notes.
Pertaining to a trending videotape on the social media where packets of new notes were sprayed at a party, he assured the lawmakers that he met with heads of deposits banks on Sunday, aimed at addressing the anomaly and insure vacuity of the new notes in ATMs across the country.
He assured the lawmakers that CBN is formerly uniting with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other affiliated Crimes Commission( ICPC), Nigerian Intelligence Finance Unit( NFIU) and other security agencies to insure smooth perpetration of the naira exchange policy.
Responding, Doguwa described the naira exchange policy as a well- allowed out policy, adding that it’s unfortunate that its intent was misunderstood due to gap in communication between CBN authorities and the National Assembly.
He particularly saluted Emefiele over the pledge to cleave to the CBN Act on the adequacy of the old naira notes after the expiration of the deadline.
He, thus, directed the CBN chief to submit a weekly report of the disbursement of the new notes vice-visa the damage of old notes by marketable banks and other banking outlets in the country.
Sada Soli( APC, Katsina), who initiated the stir on shy perpetration of the naira exchange policy, contended with CBN to increase the N20,000 pullout limit of the new notes at ATMs.
The apex bank, history, said it has uncovered N4 million of new notes misruled by a commercial bank in Ogun State. It also indicted commercial banks of sabotaging CBN’s efforts in making the new notes available.
The Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN Lagos, Kayode Makinde, bared this to journalists while leading a platoon on the monitoring exercise in Ogun.
Makinde said this week would be the third week of the monitoring exercise in the state to insure compliance to the directives of CBN as respects allocation of new notes.
He said CBN shouldn’t be criticized for failure of new notes but the marketable banks, telling that the platoon uncovered that a marketable bank misruled new notes given to it, adding that the bank involved and its officers will be sanctioned appropriately.
Meanwhile, CBN has clarified the position of Emefiele that old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes will be accepted after the February 10 deadline. Speaking with journalists in Abuja, the Director of the Corporate Communication Department at CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, explained that the old notes would cease to be legal tender after February 10, and can no longer be used for any form of sale subsequently.
Nwanisobi said after the deadline, Nigerians would be suitable to redeem the face value of the naira only at the CBN and not at commercial banks. He also added that the acceptance would be subject to meeting certain conditions.
The duration for the acceptance of the old notes after the expiration of the deadline was, still, not stated.
Citing cases in other contextures, Nwanisobi explained that bills that cease to be legal tender are only repairable by the financial authorities of similar governance upon demand subject to conditions and processes as may be specified by that Central Bank.
Meanwhile, supply of nairanotes appears to be a drop in the ocean, considering the rising need for cash. guests, who have exhausted the old notes in their possession, continue to troop into banking halls for unavailable cash.
With other options fully exhausted, numerous have turned to Point of Sale( PoS) operators, who have increased their charges to as important as 10 per cent. sorely, they can only meet a bitsy portion of the cash demand.
In utmost cases, PoS withdrawal are confined to as low as N2,000 per person. Before now, PoS operators charged an normal of N200 for N10,000 withdrawal. As at yesterday, it bring about N1,000 for a N10,000 withdrawal indeed though the quantum is a altitudinous order.
The new cash restriction doesn’t apply to PoS withdrawal. Third- party withdrawals at some ATMs in Lagos were limited to N 2,000 while N5,000 seems to be the upper cap now.
The squeeze is beginning to take its risk on businesses, especially small enterprises. And with an increase in failed electronic transfers, some businesses are decreasingly holding back on electronic payment relinquishment or assessing crazy conditions on customers.
After being cheated by failed deals preliminarily, some business possessors are going as far as opening registers for particular details( phone number and house addresses) of customers wishing to use indispensable payment channels.
A client, who recited his altercation with a seller, told our AFLM
that he’d rather not distribute than give a dealer his “ particular details. ”
Client service workers of banks are also scuffling with mass of customers complaining of failed electronic transaction. utmost of the complaints border on failed transfers that have lasted days without reversals.
There are enterprises the rigid payment system may have negative consequences for business performance and productivity if the challenges linger.
Millions of Nigerians have taken to social media to vent their wrathfulness and frustration, calling for an immediate review of the policy. A section of the social media protesters has also called on the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who appeared before the House of Representatives yesterday to defend the policy, to act fast to save the economy and restore reason in the financial system.
But a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations( CSOs) has indicted marketable banks and their staff of hoarding the new naira notes to sabotage the currency exchange policy.
At a rally in Lagos, the Coalition of Civil Society on Good Governance( CCSGG), led by its President, Bassey Etuk, said ravagers are working hard to ail the entire process.
While the generality of the people embrace the policy, we’re shocked to note that the ruling class and a section of the country are opposing it and fighting it shamelessly without an iota of nationalism for the country, ” Etuk said.
Also, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation( SGF) and Minister of Finance, Oba Olu Falae, history, described the pullout of the old notes from rotation as well as preface of the redesigned notes as ill timed.
Falae, who’s the monarch of Ilu- Abo in Akure North Local Council, disclose that the CBN policy might disrupt the forthcoming general election.
Telling this to AFLM in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the elder statesman emphasised that the apex bank ought not to have fixed a deadline for when the old notes would cease to be legal tender.
He said “ The timing could have been better. Being so near to the election, it’s rather disruptive because people would be moving around. The failure of finances may disrupt those movements. The timing could have been better and the organisation could have been more too. typically, when you want to withdraw an living currency from rotation, you insure whatever goes into the banking system doesn’t go out. also, in exchange for that, you pay out the new one.
Still, also in a short period, the old currency could have been taken to the banking system and the new currency could have been in rotation, “If you did that. They could have bettered on the timing and the sequence.