CBN orders banks to open Saturday, Sunday to ease naira scarcity
• Emefiele to supervise compliance
• Denies suspending accounts of Fintech Companies
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is expected to personally supervise and ensure that banks’ doors are opened to customers today (Saturday) and tomorrow, Sunday.
This was as the apex bank has described as fake, the news making the rounds that it suspended accounts of Fintech companies like OPAY and PALMPAY.
The bank also confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country as part of a coordinated effort to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations. The CBN has also directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays,” it stated.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, who disclosed this, explained that a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by the commercial banks for onward circulation to their respective customers.
Isa added that the apex bank had directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekend.
“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs,” he noted, adding that the CBN governor would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country.
The bankers’ bank urged Nigerians to be patient, saying the current situation would ease soon with the injection of more banknotes into circulation.
AbdulMumin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that the viral news that it had suspended accounts of Fintech companies like OPAY and PALMPAY “is simply fake.”
The viral news credited to AbdulMumin had stated that the CBN was about to suspend accounts of the Fintech companies because they were being used to perpetrate fraud.
“Please if you are using OPAY, PALMPAY or any of these CHINA APPs or their POS, stop keeping much money in the account or stop using it.
“The CBN is about suspending their accounts because these apps are being used to perpetrate fraud,’’ the viral news read in parts.
OPAY and PALMPAY had, in separate social media messages, denied being under the radar of the CBN.
OPAY had stated that “the post mentioning the CBN shutting down our operations is false and misleading to the general public.”
PALMPAY had also posted a similar disclaimer, saying: “We are aware of news currently being spread on social media about CBN shutting down the operations of PALMPAY. Please ignore all such misleading news of this nature.”
OPAY and PALMPAY are licensed under the CBN mobile payment regulatory framework.
They are to provide mobile money services including mobile payment services to both the banked and unbanked and to drive financial inclusion.