The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks to pay the redesigned naira notes to customers over the counter.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who gave the directives in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, lamented the difficulties Nigerians were going through to access the new notes.
According to the statement, the directives aimed at addressing the challenges being experienced by Nigerians as well as reduce the long and chaotic queues at the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide.
The statement said over the counter payment should not be more than N20,000.
The apex bank warned that it would, in conjunction with the Nigerian police and other agencies, prosecute sellers and abusers of naira.
The statement signed by the CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, said: “The CBN has observed with grave concern, the activities of persons who sell the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
“We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them. “Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.”