By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
Many banks have run out of both the old and new naira notes, dashing Nigerians' hopes that the cash scarcity will ease soon.
Despite the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, that the old naira notes would remain legal tenders till December 31, 2023, long queues have continued to be the order of the day in many banks across Nigeria.
The announcement of CBN had initially brought succour to many Nigerians that the old N1000, N500 and N200 banknotes would remain legal tender in compliance with the Supreme Court judgment.
However many bank branches remained shut across the country; those that had cash rationed it.
The story is the same across Nigeria as it was learnt that the CBN was yet to supply the old notes to the banks.
In many branches, crowds gathered in banking halls and at the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
In Akure, the Ondo state State capital, customers were told there was no money.
An official, who pleaded not to be named, told our correspondent that the branch had no money to dispense.
He said: “The truth is there is no cash. The banks are interested in doing business, but CBN is yet to release cash to us.
“I have sympathy with our customers who are left stranded, but the truth is, there is nothing we can do about it. We don't have the cash.”
In Imo, none of the ATMs our correspondent visited dispensed cash.
Some residents got to the bank before 6 am only to be told there was no money.
“We were told to return tomorrow (today) after they paid a few customers the old naira notes,” a resident, simply identified as Meshack, said.