There’s a sense of relief in the air following the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandating commercial backs to commence in earnest issuance of naira notes of various denominations to customers.
In a bid to cushion the effect of the cash crunch caused by its cashless policy, the CBN said it has evacuated banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country with the hope of ending the devastating Naira scarcity.
This was contained in a statement issued by the acting director, Corporate Communications of the CBN, Dr Isa AbdulMumin, on Friday, March 24, 2023.
AbdulMumin said a substantial amount of money in various denominations had been received by commercial banks for onward release to their customers.
The CBN also directed all commercial banks to open for operations on Saturdays and Sundays as part of a coordinated effort to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.
The apex bank had begun the disbursement of the old Naira notes to the banks on Thursday, March 23, 2023, a day after the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele met with banks Chief Executive Officers.
AbdulMumin also confirmed on Friday that Emefiele would personally lead a monitoring team of the CBN to ensure compliance of the commercial bank to the directive.
The statement partly read: “The CBN had directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.
“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs
“The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country.”
Meanwhile, consequent upon the CBN directive, some deposit money banks on Friday night sent out notices informing their customers that they would be open for deposits and withdrawals today (Saturday) and Sunday.
An email from Fidelity Bank to this correspondent reward: “We are open this weekend.
“Dear customer, we are pleased to inform you that our branches will be open this weekend from 9:00am to 4:00pm for cash deposit and withdrawals.
“Kindly visit any of our branches close to you to complete your transactions.”
Similarly, separate tweets posted on the official Twitter handles of Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Union Bank, and Stanbic IBTC Bank on Friday said their branches would be open from 9am to 4pm today and tomorrow.