Scores of Nigerians, on Friday, trooped to branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in four states to deposit their old N1,000 and N500 notes which have ceased to be legal tender.
In a televised national address on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the extension of the validity of old N200 notes till April 10, noting that the N500 and N1,000 denominations have ceased to be legal tender and should be deposited at the CBN and designated branches.
TheCable reported that the CBN had created a portal for the collection of old naira notes as it sought to begin its currency redemption exercise.
A notification titled ‘redemption of currency’ on its website provided a link to the portal to enable Nigerians to redeem (deposit) their old N1,000, and N500 notes by completing an online form.
“Please click here to create your profile, generate reference, and print out receipt for you to proceed to nearest CBN branch to deposit your old N1000, N500, and N200 notes into your bank account,” it reads
Narrating of his experience with the naira redemption exercise, James Enemona, chief accountant, account and finance manager, Healthrite pharmacy and supermart Limited, said the CBN branch in Lagos was not prepared as at Thursday, when he and other customers arrived.
“I filled the form online first and went to the bank on Thursday. When I got to the bank, we were asked to wait outside for a while before an official came to speak with us. When the official came, he said only old N500 and N1000 notes would be collected,” Enemona told TheCable.
“We had to explain that since we indicated N200 while filling out the online form, how can we change that? At one point, the official asked us to come to the bank at a later date to be communicated to us.
“But after listening to our agitations and complaints, the official gave us a form to fill out at the scene as well as a number tag.
“It was at this point they began attending to us because we were not many but it was obvious they were not originally prepared.”
Pictures and videos seen by TheCable on social media on Friday showed large crowds at the entrances of the apex bank branches in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Jos.
A throng of customers in were seen around the bank premises in last-minute rush to deposit the old notes.
A customer (name withheld) said Nigerians at the Lagos branch were unable to generate their reference number as the CBN portal for depositing old notes failed to validate their bank verification numbers (BVNs)