Confusion as CBN, Banks issue conflicting directives on N1000, N500 notes

Confusion as CBN, Banks issue conflicting directives on N1000, N500 notes

There was confusion within the banking sector on Friday following conflicting directives issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the commercial banks.

The whole controversy began yesterday morning when a report circulated on the social media that the CBN has ordered that Nigerians should proceed to their respective banks to deposit the old N1000 and N500 notes with them.

And within an hour later, the commercial banks began to issue circulars on the social media that their customers can now bring the old notes to deposit with them.

But as the news was generating reactions from Nigerians and raising eyebrows within the presidency, the CBN issued a rebuttal, saying it never gave such order and that the order giving by President Muhammadu Buhari in his Thursday’s national broadcast to the nation remains valid.

In a terse press release issued on Friday evening, the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, said the apex bank did not give such authorisation to commercial banks and asked members of the public to disregard it.

Nwanisobi said: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to some fake and unauthorised messages quoting the CBN as having authorised the Deposit Money Banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 Banknotes. For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to ONLY reissue and recirculate the old N200 banknotes and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10, 2023. Members of the public should therefore disregard any message and/or information not formally released by the Central Bank of Nigeria on this subject.

“Media practitioners are advised to please verify any information from the correct sources before publication,” Nwanisobi said.

But the CBN’s clarification appeared to have stoked the public anger that have continued to greet the naira scarcity across the country as violent protests broke out in different parts of Lagos and in some other states yesterday.

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