Amid cries by millions of Nigerians who expressed their frustrations over the scarcity of the newly redesigned Naira notes, the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele has issued a fresh directive to Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to immediately commence payment of the new notes over the counter.
There is a caveat though: individuals an only access daily maximum limit of N20,000.
The apex bank in a statement released on Thursday by the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, the bank reiterated its call for patience from the public over the distribution of the new notes, assuring that the bank was working round the clock to address the lingering issues.
The bank also expressed its frustration over the activities of racketeers who hoard are resell the new notes. He said:
“We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller mACHINES (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggreating the newly introduced bank notes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.
”Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-banking officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.
“We wish to state, unequivocally, that contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, its unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray) or swap on the currency under any circumstances whatsoever.”
The statement quoted Section 21(4) which states that “It shall also be an offence punishable under
Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”
Nwanisobi said the CBN despite the new directive to the banks on the new naira notes was collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.
He warned Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies.
He also admonished members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.