By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
Many Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief yesterday as banks started paying the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to customers.
It followed Monday's directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to banks to comply with the March 3 judgment of the Supreme Court.
The court held that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes would remain legal tender until December 31 and co-exist with the new notes.
Many of the banks limited payments over-the-counter to N20,000 because they had limited cash allocations from the CBN.
There were long queues at different branches.
Many Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), which were abandoned for weeks due to cash scarcity, suddenly became a beehive of activities as customers made cash withdrawals to meet their financial needs.
But some ATMs were also empty.
Many banks in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had no cash.
They said the CBN had not released money to meet demands, but hoped the situation will change in the coming days.
Skye Bank at Wuse Zone 7 paid their customers in old notes over the counter, but only a fraction of what the customers asked for.
At United Bank for Africa (UBA), Area 3, customers were paid N10,000 each over the counter.
At Polaris Bank, a teller said: “We started paying N5,000 each to our customers in the morning, but the money we had in the vault was exhausted at about noon. There will be more money as from Friday”.
Traders and cab drivers in Abuja were reluctant to accept the old notes.
Source: Nation newspaper