Written by on March 14, 2023

Commercial Banks have started to dispense the old naira notes across the counter and at the Automated Teller Machines ATM. This follows the CBN’s directive late Monday that banks should commence the dispensing of the old N500 and N1,000 notes.

A visit across the city of Lagos has shown that Commercial Banks have begun dispensing the old notes, although this hasn’t done much to reduce the crowd of customers that throng the gates of these banks.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday had given a directive that the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender and would be in circulation concurrently with the new notes till December 31, 2023. This follows the Supreme court judgement earlier, that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes shall continue to be legal tender and to remain in circulation till the end of 2023.

Bank customers testified to the fact that they were finally able to get their hands on some cash after weeks of continuous suffering owing to the cash crunch.

According to our findings, traders and motorists have also began accepting the old notes, one who spoke with us on anonymity said:

I would not have accepted this old N1,000 note, even as at yesterday, Monday, I wouldn’t accept it from any customer, but with the CBN message yesterday, coupled with the stories we have heard on radio from the news media, we believe our fear has been doused. I have also spent part of the money i got and the driver accepted too.

It is unclear how quickly the acceptance of the old notes will have a direct bearing on the masses who have had to go through some hard times navigating difficult experiences due to the cash crunch. It is hoped that businesses will heave a sigh of relief very soon.

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