Cash Scarcity Grips Nigeria As CBN Addresses Hoarding Concerns

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stepped forward to address the growing issue of cash scarcity in major cities across the country, attributing the problem to the hoarding of banknotes by unidentified individuals. 

Despite concerns, the apex bank is actively working to resolve the situation and assures the public of an ample cash supply.

Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali, the Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications at the CBN, spoke with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, providing insights into the reported cases of cash scarcity. 

She revealed that the CBN is closely monitoring the situation and has released a significant amount of cash to its branches nationwide for distribution to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

To shed light on the root cause, Mrs. Sidi Ali explained that the currency in circulation was N1 trillion in February 2023, and it has surged to over N3.4 trillion in the past two days. This surge suggests a substantial cash supply from the CBN. 

However, she acknowledged that the cash is currently in the possession of individuals who, due to past experiences, are apprehensive about releasing it into circulation.

Expressing empathy for Nigerians and their concerns, Mrs. Sidi Ali insisted that the CBN maintains an adequate cash reserve to meet the day-to-day transaction needs of the populace.

 She appealed to Nigerians for patience while the CBN takes necessary actions to ensure the availability of cash, especially during the yuletide season and beyond.

The Acting Director further urged Nigerians to continue accepting all Naira banknotes for their daily transactions. In an effort to reduce reliance on physical cash, Mrs. Sidi Ali reiterated the CBN’s earlier call for the public to embrace alternative modes of payment and e-channels.


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