Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to dispense old naira notes.
The former CBN Governor said CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made the disclosure to him in a phone conversation on Sunday night.
“Commercial banks have been directed by the Central Bank to dispense old currency notes and to also receive same as deposits from customers,” Soludo said.
“Tellers at the commercial banks are to generate the codes for deposits and there is no limit to the number of times an individual or company can make deposits.”
Soludo, a former CBN governor said Emefiele gave a directive at a Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Sunday, 12th March 2023 that banks should dispense old naira notes.
Like Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ogun State’s Dapo Abiodun and Ondo State’s Rotimi Akeredolu, Soludo urged Anambra residents “to freely accept and transact their businesses with the old currency notes (N200; N500; and N1,000) as well as the new notes”.
“Residents should report any bank that refuses to accept deposits of the old notes. Anambra State Government will not only report such a bank to the CBN but will also immediately shut down the defaulting branch,” Soludo said.
The Anambra governor’s disclosure comes 10 days after the Supreme Court ruled that old 500 and 1000 notes will remain legal tenders till December 2023.
Prior to the court ruling, the CBN informed Nigerians that their old naira notes ceased to be legal tender on Friday, February 10.
Businesses, commercial services, and individuals have been hard-hit by the implementation of the Naira redesign policy that caused a shortage of cash, culminating in violent protests and attacks on banks by individuals in different parts of Nigeria in February.
President Muhammadu Buhari thereafter said he understands the pain that Nigerians were going through to withdraw cash from the banks.
He directed the CBN to allow only the old 200 naira notes to coexist with the redesigned 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes.
Buhari said he sympathisers with Nigerians over the difficulties in accessing the new Naira notes.
He insisted that the Naira redesign was aimed at curbing inflation, and corruption, and improving transparency in cash flow to all sectors of the Nigerian economy.