CBN refutes cash scarcity concerns, attributes situation to panic withdrawals

In response to increasing public apprehension over apparent cash scarcity in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its representative Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications, have taken measures to dispel these concerns. On Thursday, AbdulMumin attributed the perceived cash shortage in major Nigerian cities to high-volume transactions by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and panic withdrawals by customers, rather than any actual scarcity.

The CBN has reassured the public that it has ample cash reserves for all economic activities, despite recent reports suggesting cash shortages in banks, ATMs, retail locations, Bureau de Change (BDCs), and Points of Sale (PoS) across the country. The bank maintains that this perceived shortage is a result of panic ATM withdrawals by customers and high volume withdrawals by DMBs from CBN branches.

The CBN acknowledges these issues but reassures Nigerians of an adequate cash supply for nationwide financial transactions. The bank’s branches are actively working to ensure seamless cash circulation across the country. This assurance comes even as concerns rise over a 41.65% increase in external debt service to $439.06m and the commencement of a $10bn Forex backlogs clearance. Despite these developments and a ₦50,000 daily limit on contactless payment channels, the CBN assures seamless cash circulation.

AbdulMumin further advised against panic withdrawals and encouraged the adoption of alternative modes of payment to reduce reliance on physical money. He reiterated that the CBN’s ample cash reserves ensure continued economic operations and refuted reports of currency scarcity on various platforms. He affirmed the sufficiency of cash for economic activities, signaling a commitment to maintaining stability in Nigeria’s financial landscape.

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