The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it has evacuated banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country.
The apex bank said the measure is part of a coordinated effort to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.
The CBN has also directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, Isa Abdulmumin, CBN spokesperson, said that a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by the commercial banks for onward circulation to their respective customers.
He said the CBN had directed all banks to load their automated teller machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.
“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs,” the statement reads.
Mr Isa Abdulmumin said Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country.
He urged Nigerians to be patient as the current cash shortage would ease soon with the injection of more banknotes into circulation over the next few years.
CBN failed Nigerians with currency Redesign, Currency Swap – Economist
The Central Bank of Nigeria has been slammed for its failure to take any appreciable steps to address the liquidity crisis currently being faced by Nigerians.
Economy and Policy Analyst, Mayokun Ilo, made the comments while speaking exclusively to TVC News Breakfast Show on Friday Morning.
Mr Ilo who was reacting to the call by the Nigerian Labour Congress for Nigerian Workers to commence an Industrial Action on Wednesday 30th of March said the currency redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria was ill conceived on false premise and ill executed.
He disclosed that other Economies who have embarked upon a currency redesign policy in the last 10 years including India have done it differently.
According to him , India which had a longer time of over 6 months to implement the policy had to review it when the Economy started experiencing liquidity shocks and closure of businesses.
He disclosed that how can something that failed in a similar situation to that of Nigeria elsewhere after 6 months would have been expected to succeed under 6 weeks in Nigeria.
He described the meeting between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress as as coming far too late to make any impact.
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria did not do enough to assuage the feelings and suffering of Nigeria on the ill conceived and ill executed policy.
He described the Policy as one that was meant to fail and should not have come as a surprise to anybody that it failed.
He said with the Naira Notes Redesign and Currency Swap, the Central Bank of Nigeria went beyond its remit of Monetary Policy into something completely different like saying the Policy was meant to stop Vote buying and Kidnapping which is not within the duties assigned to the bank in its act.
He said the bank should have focused on its primary duties of Monetary Policy and how the supply of Money will affect Economic fundamentals such as inflation, services and supply of goods.
He added that the actions of Mr Godwin Emefiele in getting involved in what was not his business as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has devalued the office.
He cautioned that the fact he is referred to as governor does not mean he was elected saying that he took the issue of Politics and Politicians to the extreme.
He expressed the believe that the Industrial Action called by the Nigerian Labour Congress should be avoided at all costs but with a caveat that the Central Bank of Nigeria do the needful.
He however said the Nigerian Labour Congress is fully justified in going ahead with the Industrial Action if the Central Bank Fails in addressing the issue of Cash Liquidity problem in the Economy.
He added that it is human and important to look at what the situation is following the introduction of the Policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He disclosed that many people have died due to failure to be able to pay for drugs while Others have suffered mental distress because of inability to get access to their money to get their daily activities going.
He also said his personal experience over the last three months since the issue came up as that of frustration each time he wants to get access to cash due to the number of people gathered at Automated Teller Machines and around banks he will just move on.
According to him, he has not touched cash in the last one month with almost all of his transactions now Electronic based with the attendant issues.
On the justification for the strike, he said the Nigerian Labour Congress has the primary duty of protecting workers Rights and the Industrial Action is a way of protecting workers as guaranteed by the constitution and confirmed by the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Naira Redesign Policy and Currency Swap.