Amid a lack of certainty regarding whether the Central Bank of Nigeria will release the old notes it is holding, Deposit Money Banks have started to limit the distribution of old N1,000 and N500 notes to their clients.
It happened about 24 hours after Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, declared that the old N1,000, N500, and N200 bills were still valid forms of payment.
The Nigeria Labour Congress insisted on the seven-day deadline it set the Federal Government to end the cash shortage on Tuesday, despite the CBN's announcement on Monday night.
The stance of the apex bank followed several weeks of uncertainty regarding the legal standing of the old currencies amid a string of Supreme Court rulings in a lawsuit between some state governments and the Federal Government.
The CBN's announcement was supposed to put an end to the shortage of both old and new naira notes that had caused suffering for Nigerians, but research published on Tuesday suggested that the crisis may not be resolved anytime soon.
According to inquiries made by our correspondents, some lenders were loading their automated teller machines while banks were rationing old notes to their clients via over-the-counter payments.
The research, however, showed that most lenders in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, Kwara, and other states gave each customer only N5,000 over the counter, while a few banks only paid N10,000.
Further research revealed that the majority of banks were only disbursing N5,000 and that only a small number of banks filled their ATMs.
Top bank executives disclosed that after sending a sizable portion of their old naira deposits to the CBN a few weeks ago, the majority of banks were paying what was remained in their vaults.
According to other authorities, lenders were also paying their clients from small fresh deposits made by their clients.