Officials of commercial banks in Onitsha, Anambra state are allegedly selling new naira notes to the highest bidder.
Traders at the Onitsha Main Market have protested to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the development saying that the newly redesigned currency is being given to people who pay extra.
According to a BusinessDay report, the traders said the shady deal by bank operatives in the state is the reason many of them are yet to access the new notes, adding that commercial banks are reluctant to issue the new notes to the public.
Meanwhile, traders at the market channeled their protests to the Anambra state branch controller of the CBN, Benedict Maduagwu, during the bank’s sensitization visit on the new notes.
Chairman of the traders in the Onitsha Main Market, Innocent Ezeoha urged the apex bank to tell officials of the CBN to bring the notes to the market.
Responding, Maduagwu said the bank would monitor the commercial banks by mounting surveillance, as he revealed that every note allotted to the banks has security codes.
He said: “Some of these challenges primarily include: First, a significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public. Statistics show that 84.71 percent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks, with only 15.29 percent in the central bank.
“Second, is the worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes with the attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability; third, there is increasing ease by criminals and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports received at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Legit. ng reports that a trader in Onitsha Main Market Izukwukwu Nwanne confirmed the development to Legit. ng. Nwanne said that many traders are yet to see, let alone handle the new notes.
He said: “As I am talking to you I am yet to see any of the new notes, I have only seen it picture. The same thing with many traders here in Main Market. What the commercial banks are doing is wrong. I am sure they are circulating the money among their staff. According to him, N20,000 of the old notes sell for N15,000 of the new ones.
“The officials will tell you to pay N20,000 to get N15,000 of the new notes. And they don’t give customers anything below N10,000,” he said.