Naira scarcity: CBN moves to decongest ATMs, banking halls, meets banks, telcos

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Mr. Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intensified its effort to end the long queues in banking halls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

Speaking at the weekend, Atiku Muhammed-Nasir, Director, Security Service of the apex bank, agents will be deployed to some commercial banks premises to facilitate its new naira swap policy, especially in some states where banking services is at its lowest ebb.

He said the measure will help decongest the banking halls and ATMs of hordes of customers scrambling for the new naira notes.

“The exercise has helped a great deal as the scrambling has reduced considerably. We are optimistic that in the coming days, the situation will improve,” he said.

Meanwhile, the CBN will meet with deposit money banks (DMBs), mobile money operators, and telecommunications companies in the coming days to address the excess withdrawal charges by Point of Sale (PoS) operators in the country.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this while briefing the media on the redesigned naira on Saturday in Lagos.

He said: “We have also noticed that some Nigerians are capitalising on the transition to charge exorbitant fees or demand cash payment on the false pretext that PoS doesn’t work, especially at petrol stations.

“These selfish actions for personal monetary gain are creating hardship for Nigerians and may come at the expense of fellow citizens’ lives and livelihood.”

The CBN governor said the apex bank might review upward the daily withdrawal limit from N20,000 in the future.

He revealed that the CBN was collaborating with the entire financial ecosystem including the DMBs, other financial institutions, MMOs, Super Agents, Microfinance Banks, Payment System Providers, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and other law enforcement agents to ensure that Nigerians have a variety of options for financial transactions either through electronic channels or in exceptional circumstances, cash.

Emefiele added: “We are mindful of the challenges some citizens have faced and are addressing them. There have been reports of occasional failures in e – channel platforms.

“Our monitoring suggests that whilst there has been an expected surge in electronic transactions, these have not risen to unprecedented levels and the payment system is well equipped to handle even higher transaction volumes.

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