CBN’s redesign of the old notes caused chaos and resulted in a deadline for the redemption of notes, which was initially set for 31 January 2023. However, due to a shortage of new naira notes, the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, has obtained approval from President Muhammadu Buhari for a 10-day extension until February 10, 2023. Emefiele claimed that this extension would allow for a more successful cash redemption process in rural communities.
Many Nigerians deposited 99% of their money in banks before the initial cut-off date, but are now facing difficulties obtaining new currencies due to long lines at ATMs loaded with small amounts of money, resulting in low patronage from ATMs. Business. In addition, cash shortages in banks and the failure of electronic channels have led to an increase in fees charged by Point of Sale (POS) operators.
Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin predicted the outcome in December 2022, stating that the absence of ATMs and banking agencies would lead to a black market for forex traders.
In response to these challenges, the CBN recently directed Depository Money Banks (DMBs) to start paying out the redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payment limit of N20,000. The main bank added that it would work with the Nigerian Police, the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to prosecute abuses and vendors. of naira.
Social networks have been filled with expressions of anger and dissatisfaction over the recent changes, with calls for a more organized and effective solution to the problems facing the country’s financial sector. Here are some tweets from people expressing their anger on social media:
The recent struggles faced in Nigeria’s drive towards a cashless economy highlight the need for the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to address current challenges before making a full transition to a cashless economy. With the upcoming presidential election on February 25, it remains to be seen how the situation will affect the polls and how the government will respond to the widespread frustration and dissatisfaction among the public.