In the face of a paucity of fresh notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has opened a facility enabling bank customers to deposit their old naira notes.
The CBN offered a URL to the portal in a notification posted on its website titled ‘Redemption of Money,’ allowing Nigerians to redeem (deposit) their old notes.
President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the ongoing use of N200 notes as legal money in Nigeria in a broadcast on Thursday. However, the president stated that the CBN’s instruction to phase out the old N500 and N1000 notes remains in effect.
“Please click here to create your profile, generate reference and print out receipt for you to proceed to the nearest CBN Branch to deposit your old N1000, N500 and N200 notes into your bank account,” a notice on the portal reads.
To create a profile, a frame is filled where a reference number is generated. Here, customers are required to provide their bank verification number, email address, phone number, bank account details, depositor information (including house address), and the total amount of the denomination to be redeemed.
To complete this process, the CBN said that the ‘condition for redemption of currency’ must be met.
According to the central bank, part of the conditions is that depositors can only access the window once and beneficiary accounts would only receive value after the successful processing of cash deposited and verification of documents submitted.
“A depositor shall not be entitled to recover from the bank the value of any mutilated or imperfect notes,” the notice added.
“The circumstances under which such notes may be refunded ex-gratia shall be within the absolute discretion of the bank; Depositors can check the status of transactions on the portal here; Transactions would be concluded within a minimum of three working days. All deposits will be treated in accordance with the relevant laws.”
Upon completion of the form, a reference number is generated to indicate which of the central banks to go deposit the old notes.
Last Friday, the National Council of State advised on the need for aggressive action on the part of the central bank as it relates to the implementation of the new naira policy. The council said that the CBN should urgently make more new notes available.
Parts of southern Nigeria have descended into chaos in recent weeks, with long queues at ATM points and fights breaking out inside commercial banks.
In recent days, violent protests have been recorded in Ogun, Oyo, Edo and Akwa Ibom in the country’s south, and social media is awash with lamentations of suffering Nigerians who are not able to access their funds for transactions.
On Thursday, Mr Buhari noted that he “sympathises” with citizens over the difficulties being experienced in the implementation of the policy. However, he also blamed “unscrupulous” officials in the banking industry for being “inefficient”.
“To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through the availability of appropriate amounts of currency; and ability to make deposits.” Mr Buhari said.