Several states in Nigeria are facing a cash crunch, with ATMs no longer dispensing money, and banks rationing cash withdrawals Over The Counter (OTC) due to uneven cash flow and a surge in withdrawals before the festivities, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Some affected states include Ondo, Edo, Kwara, Delta, Plateau, Jigawa, and Osun. Commercial banks in Plateau State experienced a scarcity of cash, leading to rationing, and ATMs programmed to dispense limited cash. In Katsina, the capital of Katsina State, and other urban towns, businesses continued without disruptions.
In Dutse, Jigawa State, commercial banks reduced the amount of cash paid to customers making bulk withdrawals to a maximum of N20,000. Ilorin in Kwara State faced a cash crunch, with ATMs having limited cash, and some banks pegging the amount collectable at N5,000 to N10,000.
Residents of Warri, Effurun, and environs in Delta State expressed concerns over the difficulty in accessing cash for over a month. Also, in Akure, Ondo State, residents found it challenging to access money in commercial banks, with OTC maximum withdrawal set at N20,000. Osun State residents faced increased withdrawal charges from PoS agents.
In Benin, Edo State, crowded banks paid only N10,000 to customers OTC. In Lagos State, banks initiated cash rationing, with customers only able to withdraw N10,000 from ATMs and N20,000 from banking halls. However, states like Anambra, Ogun, Bayelsa, Niger, Akwa-Ibom, and Benue did not face the same cash crunch.
The CBN attributed the cash crunch to customers’ withdrawal patterns and the Supreme Court ruling. A CBN official explained that the festive season leads to a surge in withdrawals, straining the banking system’s ability to meet the demand for cash.
The public was urged to deposit more money and use digital payment options. The official emphasized that old and new naira notes remain legal tender indefinitely, referring to the Supreme Court verdict.