No cash scarcity in Nigeria, insists CBN

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that cash is available for economic activities in the country.

In a statement signed by Director of Corporate Communications, Dr Isa AbdulMumin, and forwarded to Economy Post, the apex bank said that its attention had been drawn to reports of alleged scarcity of cash at banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), Points of Sale and among Bureaux de Change (BDCs) in some major cities across the country.

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The CBN said its findings revealed that the seeming cash scarcity in some locations was due 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.

“The branches of the CBN across the country are also working to ensure the seamless
circulation of cash in their respective states of operation. Members of the public are, therefore, advised to guard against panic withdrawals as there is sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities. Nigerians are also advised to embrace alternative modes of
payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash,” the CBN said.

There were huge withdrawals at various banks in Abuja and Lagos on Wednesday as customers felt there could be scarcity of cash again this year.

“”I withdrew N50,000 today because I heard that there is cash scarcity. I don’t want to experience what I went through in January to March,” said Abuja-based Amaechi Ude, who operates an account in a Tier-1 bank in Kubwa.

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In early 2023, Nigerians were treated with a naira redesign policy that made cash unavailable for three months. It took the intervention of the Supreme Court on March 3, 2023, to dismiss and nullify the policy.

Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, who read the lead judgment of the Court, had posited that President Muhammadu Buhari acted ultra vires by failing to consult with the National Council of States, Federal Executive Council FEC and the National Economic Council NEC before directing the apex bank to introduce new naira notes and embark on the cashless policy, Daily Post reported.

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