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Naira scarcity persists in Lagos despite CBN’s directives



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Despite directives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that banks can now dispense and accept the old N500 and N1000 notes, Naira scarcity still persists in Lagos with many customers besieging banks.

It was however observed that while traders and residents of the state had fully complied to transact with the old Naira notes, some banks were yet to start dispensing both the old and new Naira notes.

Many customers were seen in large numbers at the entrance of some commercial banks visited around Iyana-ipaja, Ikotun, Ikeja, Sango, Oshodi and other areas of the state with a hope to get cash.

A bank customer, Debora Opoola, expressed worry, saying that the cash crunch still persisted, in spite of the CBN’s directive on the recirculation of the old Naira notes and willingness of the public to accept it.

“I just entered the bank but I was told that there was no cash. Both the old and new Naira notes were not available for us to collect. There are still so many queues at the banks and many of the banks were not paying yet.

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Also, a PoS operator in Abesan Estate who simply identified himself as Alfa, while he has started collecting the old Naira notes, he’s yet to get them easily from the banks.

He urged the CBN to ensure supply of money into circulation, saying that “we are tired of going back and forth”.

“I will suggest for us to have access to money, CBN should set up a merger with government agencies like non-interest banks, discount houses, finance companies, among others, to ensure banks comply with the order.

Mrs. Odusote, a cold room operator in Alimosho, expressed joy over the declaration of the old Naira notes as legal tender till December. He, however, said that he wished the banks would begin to pay the banknotes without delay.

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“CBN should make the money available to banks and put strict measures in place to ensure that they pay and also collect it back when customers come to deposit. It is taking too much time, and may lead to panic,” he added.

Meanwhile, a visit to some major markets in the state shows that many traders are already complying with the CBN directives as many traders were collecting the old N500 and N1000 notes from customers.


The CBN in a statement signed by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isa AbdulMumin, on Monday directed the commercial banks to comply with the Supreme Court judgement of March 3.

CBN said: “Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and directed that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain a legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31.

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