The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make clarifications on the deposit of old naira notes.

Olusoji Oluwole, president, ASSBIFI, made the call in an interview with NAN on Sunday.

The apex bank had said it designated commercial banks to assist in the collection of the old N500 and N1,000 notes from members of the public.

It said the banks were only allowed to accept a maximum deposit of N500,000 from each customer.

But the CBN later denied directing banks to collect the old notes from members of the public, leaving Nigerians to question the apex bank’s true position.

Despite the apex bank’s rebuttal, TheCable reported that commercial banks began collecting the old N500 and N1,000 naira notes from their customers.

Reacting to the development, Oluwole said the CBN must be clear on whether banks are to receive old notes to avoid problems.

“The CBN needs to provide clarity because some banks are receiving, some are not receiving, and these are the things that could cause problems if they do not come out clearly and say, this is what is expected of everybody,” he said.

“By the pronouncement of the CBN governor, the validity of the old currency ended on Feb. 17. So, are people still going to be able to pay in for the next 60 days just as the N200? Are they going to be allowed to pay in through the rest of the week? Will it end on Saturday?

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“Those are the things they need to come out with, clearly and publish it; put it on their website, twitter because normally, CBN issues notices and circulars.”

Meanwhile, in a statement, Oluwole said the association had received assurances that adequate security to protect lives and property would be put into place with immediate effect.

This was after several meetings were held with various bodies and individuals to address recent bank branch attacks in some states, he said.

Oluwole noted, however, that in the event of an attack by the public without visible protection, members had been advised to shut down and relocate to safe locations until their safety could be guaranteed.

“Our central working committee has also met to review these engagements and immediate implementation of some of the assurances by various stakeholders,” he said.

“Based on the outcome of our discussion we hereby release the following statements: while our members will resume at their functional branches immediately, the safety and security of their lives remain paramount to us.

“Also, we continue to demand that visible and adequate security is provided in all operational areas, particularly places that are traditionally known to be volatile.

“While our members in locations that were attacked and assets destroyed may be unable to operate, we have advised other members to assess the security situation in their environments before opening for business.”