March 4, 2024

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the suspension of new loan applications under its intervention programme.

The announcement was communicated in a circular entitled “Suspension of Acceptance of New Applications under the Existing Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Development Finance Intervention Programme,” addressed to the chief executives of banks.

The circular, signed by Sa’ad Hamidu, Acting Director of the Development Finance Department, marks a significant shift in its approach to development finance intervention funds, which was the cornerstone of the previous central bank governor.

The CBN also tasked commercial banks, which previously facilitated the distribution of these intervention loans, with the responsibility of recovering outstanding loans issued under the programmes.

Similarly, Apex bank has again assured members of the public that it is addressing the reported cases of cash scarcity in some major cities across the country.

It attributed the current situation to the hoarding of the Naira by some persons due to challenges experienced during the Naira redesign project.

The Bank’s Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali gave the latest assurance in a chat with newsmen in Abuja, on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, disclosing that the CBN was monitoring the situation and had released sufficient cash to its branches across the country for onward distribution to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

Giving further clarification on the cases of hoarding, Sidi Ali explained that currency in circulation as of February 2023, was N1 trillion, while that figure had risen to over N3.4 Trillion as of December 11, 2023. This, according to her indicated that there was sufficient cash in circulation, except that the cash was in the hands of individuals who were apprehensive due to their previous experiences.

She insist that the CBN had adequate cash to meet the day-to-day transaction needs of Nigerians and therefore, appealed to Nigerians to be patient while the CBN does the needful to ensure the availability of cash, particularly during the yuletide and beyond.

While also urging Nigerians to continue to accept all Naira banknotes for their daily transactions, Sidi Ali reiterated the Bank’s earlier call to the public to embrace alternative modes of payment, e-channels, to reduce pressure on the use of physical cash.

Daily Trust

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