By Francis Akinnodi
Many Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Ondo state did not dispense the new naira notes, leaving bank customers disappointed.
The new notes became a legal tender on December 15, 2022 after it was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 23, 2022 in Abuja.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had in October announced the redesign, production, release, and circulation of a new series of three banknotes out of the existing eight banknotes, comprising N200, N500, and N1000 denominations.
The Hope observed that all the ATM machines they went to on Monday were dispensing only the old notes. At one of the banks, customers who wanted the new naira notes were asked to withdraw over the counter as there was none in the ATMs.
“If you want new naira, go inside and meet the cashier,” a bank official told a customer who wanted to withdraw the new naira from the ATM.”
According to Director, corporate communications department of the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi said the CBN never said once the distribution of the new naira began, every ATM would dispense the new notes.
He said the new naira policy has two objectives to achieve. “One is to bring the currency outside the bank into the banking system and to promote other means of payment. “Distribution of the new naira is a process and it is ongoing.”
Findings show that the supply of the new naira from the CBN to banks is low.
When The Hope visited some markets in the state, and found that most of the transactions were being done in old naira notes.
“Buyers are not making purchases with the new naira notes because it is still not available even in banks,” said Bayo Oladeji, a trader. “I have even been looking for the new notes and visiting several ATM machines for it but none is dispensing.”
Also, contrary to the viral videos in circulation that people were not accepting the new naira notes, traders in Ondo, Akure and Ore said they were looking forward to accepting them.