Exactly seven days to the January 31 deadline for the return of old notes to banks across Nigeria, Nigerians have continued to express worry over the shortage of the redesigned N1,000, N500 and N200 naira notes.
Most banks have been issuing old notes despite threat of sanctions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
While Nigerians rush to meet up the deadline by thronging banks to deposit the old notes, they have been complained bitterly as banks keep giving them old notes whenever they withdraw either from the counter or at the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) points.
In Birnin Kebbi, the capital city of Kebbi, customers reportedly stormed banks to either deposit or receive money, saying they have limited access to the new naira notes.
In their large number, customers at various banks, were sighted making efforts to make transactions.
In Osun State, some traders have started rejecting the old notes and opting for cashless means of payment.
When Investors King visited some markets in Ilesa and Osogbo, buyers complained that some traders no longer collect the old notes and explained that the traders feared not to be caught up in the web of the deadline.
Some traders were even said to hike the price of their goods in the situation where the buyer is paying with the old notes while others would easily accept mobile bank transfer.
“I visited Atakunmosa Market in Ilesa on Monday and I was shocked when the woman selling rice rejected the N1,500 old notes I gave to her. She said I should pay with the new notes. We had to argue before I left her because everyone knows that the new notes is scarce and banks are not helping matter. If you go back to return this old money, one will still withdraw the old money. so, I wonder why traders are now rejecting the old notes when it’s not as if the deadline is here,” a resident of Ilesa who identified himself as Dare Atoyebi said.
Also lamenting the development at a commercial bank in Birnin Kebbi, Malam Musa Gero from Kukaru, Gulma in Argungu Local Government Area of Kebbi State said there was a long queue at the bank because people are rushing to return the old notes.
Gero said most of the people that had been paid were paid with the old notes, adding that hundreds of residents who besieged the bank overwhelmed the officials.
While appealing to the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider the plights of Nigerians and extend the time to a certain period to accommodate all, Gero said if there is no extension, many people would be counting loses even before the deadline.
He said with the rush, most customers would not be able to deposit the old cash while those who were able to do so would still be given the old notes.
In his remarks during an interview at another commercial bank visited, Malam Muktar Sambo from Zogirma Village, Bunza Local Government Area, lamented that in the whole of Zogorma, they didn’t have a single bank to do any transaction, adding that many residents had to travel far distance to deposit their money.
He also begged the CBN for extension of the expiration date saying that most inhabitants of rural communities were yet to understand the new policy nor find it easy to take their money to the banks.
Another customer, Ibrahim Hassan, from Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of the state, also noted that many people may not be able to deposit their old notes before the deadline.
He complained of long queues at the bank and also lamented the non-availability of the new naira notes in circulation in the state.
Access Holdings Posts 52.6% Profit for the First Half of the Year
Parent Company of Access Bank Celebrates Remarkable Financial Performance in H1’23
Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, has reported a 58.9 percent surge in gross revenue to N940.3 billion for the first half of 2023.
The financial services giant also recorded remarkable growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) at 71.4 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively, culminating in N167.6 billion for PBT and N135.4 billion for PAT during the same period.
These financial milestones were unveiled as part of Access Holdings’ Audited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the period concluding on June 30, 2023.
The driving force behind this unprecedented growth can be attributed to a potent combination of factors. A 63.0 percent growth in interest income and a 51.9 percent increase in non-interest income fueled the surge in gross revenue.
Access Holdings also witnessed a 35 percent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, capping the first half of 2023 at an impressive N12.5 trillion. This remarkable achievement encompassed all business segments, reinforcing the Group’s status as Nigeria’s largest financial institution by total assets.
The company’s total assets grew by 39.0 percent year-on-year to N20.9 trillion while shareholders’ funds surged by 40.6 percent to N1.7 trillion.
These astounding figures underline the Group’s ability to generate value from a diversified business portfolio, spanning banking, asset management, and payment services.
Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, commented on the company’s positive performance, saying, “Our growth plans for the African continent remain firm and clear, driven by the strong long-term growth prospects and trade opportunities seen across many of the countries.”
He went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to its 5-year cyclical strategy, stating, “Our primary objective remains to transform Access Holdings Plc into a leading financial and ecosystem player, fostering opportunities for shared prosperity among all stakeholders.”
Central Bank of Nigeria Postpones 293rd Monetary Policy Committee Meeting
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the postponement of its 293rd Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, originally scheduled for September 25th and 26th, 2023.
Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, released a statement on Thursday confirming the decision.
In the statement, Dr. AbdulMumin stated, “The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has deferred its 293rd meeting, which was initially planned for Monday and Tuesday, September 25th and 26th, 2023, respectively. A new date will be communicated in due course. We regret any inconvenience this change may cause our stakeholders and the general public.”
While the CBN did not provide an official reason for the postponement, some industry experts suggest it may be related to the pending approvals for the newly appointed governor and deputy governors of the bank.
President Bola Tinubu recently nominated Yemi Cardoso as the potential head of the CBN. Additionally, Tinubu has endorsed the nominations of four new deputy governors for the apex bank, who are expected to serve for an initial term of five years, pending confirmation by the Senate.
The nominated deputy governors are Emem Usoro, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello. However, the appointment of the CBN governor is contingent upon Senate confirmation, which is currently on a yearly recess.
The CBN assures stakeholders and the public that the rescheduled MPC meeting date will be communicated promptly as soon as it is confirmed.
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