Fresh details have emerged that customers who are accepting old N1000 and N500 notes from their banks are doing so on their own.
This is because such customers would not be able to deposit the same old notes in banks at the moment until the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) orders commercial banks to start paying and receiving the old notes.
Following the ruling of the Supreme Court last week that the old notes should remain legal tender till December 31, 2023, some commercial banks have started paying customers the old notes.
A bank official, who does not want to be named, confirmed to our source that some banks paid the old naira notes on Monday and Tuesday.
However, he said some stopped the payment when they noticed it may trigger another crisis as it was not yet authorised by the CBN.
While some paid through the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), other banks paid the old notes over the counter to customers.
The bank official told our source that banks will not allow any deposit in the old notes unless the CBN gives further directives, saying those who had generated CBN codes to make deposits earlier would no longer be allowed to make another deposit.
“CBN hasn’t given any directive yet. But commercial banks are partially paying the old notes to customers. Though it is not compulsory for customers to collect the old notes as banks won’t take them back from customers for now.
“As I speak with you, we are still on a one-off deposit once you generate the code from the CBN. So, imagine how they will deposit the cash if they’ve already deposited before,” the bank official said.
On why commercial banks decided to pay the old notes when they know the CBN has not given the order to do so, the source explained that banks are aware of the lack of cash in the economy, saying most of the officials are not happy seeing their customers under the sun and in the rain waiting for new notes that are not available.
The banker stated that banks decided to pay to ease the issue of people not having cash, adding that “the CBN remains adamant to change the new policy.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the order of the Supreme Court to allow the old notes to co-exist with the new ones.
However, some have predicted that the President would not act on the order of the court until after the March 11 governorship election so as to prevent candidates from buying votes with the old notes some of them have already stashed in their coffers.