Commercial banks have started receivng the old N500 and N1,000 naira notes from their customers.
The development comes despite the rebuttal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it did not direct banks to collect the old naira notes from Nigerians.
In contradiction to the apex bank’s position, investigation showed that the cash redemption portal of the CBN directed customers with old notes totalling N500,000 and below to commercial banks to make the deposits.
In parts of Lagos on Saturday, banks opened to receive the old notes.
Long queues were seen in front of banks as customers attempted to gain access into the banking halls.
At an Access Bank branch, a bank official was calling out the names of customers from a sheet of paper.
Once a customer’s name is called, he/she is allowed to proceed into the bank.
The bank official said they would stop attending to customers by 2pm.
Meanwhile, some customers outside the bank lamented that they were unable to generate a reference number from the CBN portal.
“I have been here since 10am. This is almost 2pm. The CBN portal is saying validation error. I can’t generate the reference code so I can’t go in,” a customer, simply identified as John said.
At other branches of Access Bank and First Bank, customers were allowed to deposit their old notes.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) branches in Ikorodu and Airport Road were also attending to customers.
At a Sterling Bank branch in Ikorodu, only those who had generated the CBN reference number were being allowed in.
A security officer at a United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch in the area said the firm has stopped attending to people for the day.
“We will open again on Monday,” he said.
At the time of visit (2pm), a small group of customers at an Access Bank branch in Ikorodu were waiting to get attended to under a canopy outside the company.
“They opened in the morning to collect the notes. But now they’ve closed,” a customer said.
Another customer said they were waiting to see if the bank workers would allow them in or tell them when to come back.