Ahead of the January 31 deadline for phasing out old naira notes, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has announced that its branches will open on Saturday and Sunday for cash deposit.
The bank in a notification to Nigerians, said, “This is to notify the general public that all our branches will be open on Saturday and Sunday just to receive cash.
“All old Naira notes of series 200, 500, and 1000 will cease to be in use from the 31st of January.”
Recall that Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had on Tuesday, maintained that the January 31st deadline for phasing out old naira notes remained sacrosanct.
Emefiele who had in December said the development was informed by the fact that more than 80 per cent of the Nigerian currency are outside bank vaults, arguing that such practice portends dangers for the economy.
Some experts have however raised doubts about the success of the scheme.
Kingsley Moghalu, a former Central Bank deputy governor, said though he supports CBN’s latest move to redesign some naira notes, he doubts if it will help curb inflation and food price inflation.
“I fully support the Central Bank’s redesign of the Naira,” Mr Moghalu said in a series of tweets on Friday. “I doubt it will solve inflation because there also are other major reasons for inflation such as the forex crisis, which this new move could exacerbate, as well the impact of the security crisis on food price inflation.
He added that “the flip side is that people who are holding huge amounts of cash outside the banking system for nefarious reasons will go to the parallel forex market to buy hard currency, putting further downward pressure on the value of the Naira as too much Naira will be chasing too few dollars.”
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