The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied that there is a scarcity of the recently issued new naira notes as is widely alleged.

This refutal comes as commercial banks across the nation continue to dispense the old notes across the counter to customers some of the time, especially in localities outside of Abuja and Lagos.

This is as the validity of the old notes expires five days away, on January 31.

One remarkable improvement in the dispensation of the new notes is that following a recent warning from the CBN days ago, Automated Teller machines (ATMs) of banks across the country have been dispensing the new notes across the board.

Reports reaching the Nigerian Observer from across the country, however indicate that the ATM machines of the banks quickly run dry or function in fits and starts.

Another indicator of the halting nature of the flow in the new notes manifests in the service of Point of Sale (PoS) service operators who run cash vending services and are widely spread across the country.

The vast majority of the said PoS operators up until late last night (Wednesday 25 January 2023) were still largely handing out old notes to customers and claimed they could hardly access the new notes.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, represented by Musa Jimoh, Director, Payment System Management Department of the bank, who addressed a news conference in Jos, Plateau State, dismissed allegations of a short supply of new notes.

”The CBN has massively supplied the new notes to commercial banks to dispense both at counters and ATMs.

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”This is to enable quick circulation and we want to advice commercial banks to desist from keeping the cash away from the public or face the stiffer sanction,” he said.

Emefiele advised citizens to deposit their old notes at any commercial bank and acquire new ones with immediate effect, insisting that the Jan. 31 deadline was binding and would not be moved forward.

He explained that the decision to redesign the currency indicated that the CBN was operating in line with global standard, adding that currency notes typically ought to be redesigned within five years.

He, however, regretted that it took Nigeria nine years since such changes were last effected.

Speaking during a ‘monitoring and sensitisation’ exercise held in some locations in Jos, the CBN scribe said the decision to redesign the country’s higher denominations of currency was a national project aimed at addressing problems relating to cash circulation.

He said it would further solve the challenge of prolonged savings in piggy banks, cash hoarding and incidences of fake currencies.

“The monitoring and sensitisation project was activated by the apex bank for investigation of the attitude of banks toward the spread of the new currencies.

”We are equally using it to create awareness on the use of agents to circulate the cash in communities with few or no bank branches available,” he said.

He advised that torn, worn and defaced currencies be returned to banks for replacement and cautioned people entertaining the thought that the CBN might extend the deadline to desist, as they could face losses.