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Scarcity of Naira easing as banks comply with CBN’s new directives

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There are indications that the three-month-old cash shortages rocking Nigeria’s economy would fizzle out this week following banks’ compliance with the latest directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on cash dispensary over the weekend.

This comes as financial analysts disagree on the likely impacts of the cash crises on the financial performance of the banks in the first quarter of 2023, Q1’23.

But Financial Vanguard findings show that banks are actually set for record high electronic banking income following the massive and widespread shift to electronic payments caused by the Naira Redesign policy.

Nigerians have been made to go through harrowing experiences across all cash dispensing channels following hick-ups that emerged from the implementation of the CBN’s Naira Redesign policy.

In further advancing its efforts at redressing the situation, the apex bank, last weekend directed the banks to pick all their cash requirements from the CBN to serve all customer demands while opening their branches for the same purpose on Saturdays and Sundays. The apex bank also relaxed its cash withdrawals policy increasing the limit to N500,000 from N100,000 per week for individuals and N5 million from N500,000 for corporates.

Consequently, Financial Vanguard findings show that as at yesterday the crowd that had thronged the banks on Friday and Saturday had redused while most ATM points were active as against the near zero activity recorded in the past two weeks as the ATMs were all without cash.

However some bank officials who spoke to Financial Vanguard indicated that they still expect much pressures today and tomorrow if what they experienced during the weekend is considered. But they also expressed confidence that the situation will improve this week and probably be completely resolved by weekend.

They explained that though they have started receiving more Naira supply from CBN distribution across branches will not be done fully until the middle of this week m a situation which will make a cash supply to customers to be restricted temporally.

Vanguard checks in Abuja and Lagos have revealed that although there are still long queues at the various banks and ATMs, there is improvement in the disbursement of cash to customers.

But almost all the banks and channels were dispensing only the old naira banknotes.

Checks by Vanguard show that banks are complying with the directive with varying degrees of outcomes.

A branch of GTBank in Festac Town on Saturday, when visited, attended to customers by paying N40,000 to its account holders while paying other banks’ customers N20,000 via ATM.

The same situation was recorded at a nearby branch of Stanbic IBTC, with account holders able to withdraw N40,000 while other bank customers were able to withdraw between N10,000 and N20,000, depending on the bank.

Source: Vanguard

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