CBN Orders Banks to Accept Old Naira Notes Amid Public Pressure and Nationwide Protests

CBN Orders Banks to Accept Old Naira Notes Amid Public Pressure and Nationwide Protests

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued an order to all Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to accept all old Naira notes, in response to public pressure and ongoing nationwide protests over the demonetization of the currency.

The directive was issued on Friday, and requires banks to accept all old Naira notes, including the N500, N200 and N100 denominations. The CBN has also directed banks to ensure that only deposits not more than N500,000 are collected from an individual, and clarified that no extra fees or charges will be imposed on customers for the deposit of the old currency.

“The Central Bank has directed all Commercial banks to start collecting old N500, and N1000 notes from customers with immediate effect. It applies to customers swapping N500,000 and below only,” said The CBN's Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, to Daily Post.

The CBN's decision comes amidst a series of nationwide protests against the demonetization and scarcity of the new notes. Many Nigerians demand that the CBN reverse its decision and allow them to use their old currency.

The demonstration escalated on Friday afternoon in various Nigerian metropolitan areas. Many Nigerian cities including several locations in Lagos, Warri, and Abia, have been under chaos on Friday. Eyewitness accounts describe people damaging property, setting tires ablaze on roads, and impeding movement.

The CBN's directive is seen as an attempt to calm the public's anger, end the destruction of public properties and commercial banks as reported in some states. However, CBN, claims that the decision is taken as a result of mammoth crowd turn-up to its offices for exchange of the old notes as the deadline was set yo expires today.

President Muhammadu Buhari, had on Thursday, directed that only old N200 notes would continue to remain a legal tender until April, 10; but affirmed the CBN's February, 10, deadline for the N500 and N1000 notes. The president's speech was received with mixed reactions. Meanwhile, the CBN and the Federal governments decisions on the redesigned Naira notes are taken while the case is still deliberated at the Supreme Court.

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