ECONOMY: Naira Notes Swap: Using Deposit Banks As Pawns: Angry Bankers React As Gov. El-Rufai Open Up


“Many of them are aware that it’s the middle and junior staff who are facing the public and being beaten up.  They see it every day since the problem started but they keep telling us that it will be over soon. But we know that they can’t talk because they are afraid of being sanctioned” 


With the problem of shortage in the availability of new naira notes continuing and the refusal of many businesses and traders accepting the old notes, some bankers who spoke with Pegasus Reporters under the condition of anonymity have placed the blame on the apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

It will be recalled that not a few deposit banks have been reported as hoarding the new naira notes while the few distribution outlets like the ATm and POS still dispensing the old notes.

This prompted pegasus reporters to reach out to select banks and bankers willing to speak on condition of anonymity. From Abuja, our correspondent reported:
“Sir, how come that deposit banks are said to be hoarding the new naira note and why do you think they are doing this?”

Ans: It’s easy to say deposit and commercial banks are doing this or doing that but ask yourself, are these banks responsible for printing naira?

These banks can only dispense what is given to them by the CBN and when that is exhausted, we fold our hands since we are advised to not pay out the old notes. Even with a million naira new notes uploaded in the ATM, how many depositors do you think that will serve? Please I think the CBN is best to answer your other questions. We are like their messengers to the financial public”

Another banker who spoke with Pegasus Reporters in Benin City had this to say about discoveries in one of their branches about the find by CBN officials:
Let me tell you what is happening. You see cash was supplied the evening before and was to be loaded the next morning and they came checking and recording video. We are aware of these types of deceit. These are the video the CBN is sending around and causing chaos. They make us pawns in this game and three people are already dead today in Benin City”

Other junior staff who volunteered statements are convinced that the fear of sanction by the CBN has somewhat placed “a permanent shut up on the Ogas at the top.

“Many of them are aware that it’s the middle and junior staff who are facing the public and being beaten up.  They see it every day since the problem started but they keep telling us that it will be over soon. But we know that they can’t talk because they are afraid of being sanctioned” 

While the political class especially the All Progressives Congress suspects that scarcity is designed to scuttle the Presidential election coming up in a few days’ time, many others say it could not be unrelated to the long-held fear that certain people are planning to unleash violence on the country to provoke a military coup.

It will be recalled that the Supreme Court had maintained that the old currency should remain as legal tender until the case is determined on February 22 when it will reconvene.

*Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State

Yet in a development that seems to give credence to the fear expressed by the bankers, the Kaduna State governor has debunked any allegation of a meeting held during the week between the Federal government and the governor as false. The press statement which was signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication) on 15th February 2023 explained as follows:

“A few hours after the Supreme Court adjourned the “currency redesign” case today, The Cable, a respected publication, published what it described as an exclusive story regarding the intentions of the Federal Government on the matter.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai would like to clarify that The Cable has been misled by its sources on this issue. There has been no meeting this week between the FG and either the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) or the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), not to talk of one lasting till the wee hours of today, Wednesday, 15 February 2023.

“Rather, senior officials of the FG reached some governors, including Malam Nasir El-Rufai, on phone to initiate discussions on a possible out-of-court settlement. The terms they proposed were to allow only the old N200 note to remain legal tender and be circulated by the CBN till 10 April 2023. They claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes that had been deposited, but that those persons who still held the old notes could redeem them up to 10 April 2023.

“These were not considered as serious proposals, for obvious reasons. Circulating the old N200 notes alone would not be sufficient to relieve widespread human suffering in Kaduna State, and indeed in Nigeria today. They knew that and that is why they falsely claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes. This is contrary to the fact available to the governors to the effect that the old notes were in the custody of commercial bank branches throughout Nigeria until the evening of Monday, February 13, and not a single N500 or N1000 had been destroyed.

“It is also a non-starter to insist on a new cut-off date without first assuring that sufficient new notes would have been printed and circulated. The information available to the governors also indicates that the Mint will need at least 12 months to print the minimum amount of N1 trillion needed to ensure a functioning trade and exchange environment in Nigeria.

“The tabling of false facts, inadequate solutions to the sufferings of our people, and the bad faith that some of the FG negotiators displayed in our phone conversations and chats have now been taken further in leaking a false account and context to a respected medium. The plaintiff governors rejected the draft proposal as insincere and invested our hopes in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai will be addressing the people of Kaduna State on this currency redesign mess, the consequences of the extension of the injunction of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and related matters tomorrow. But the Kaduna State Government feels it is important tonight not to allow an exclusive falsehood to stand, or even gain the slightest traction. This statement is therefore issued to put the records straight”

Tell us you were here by replying to this story in the comment section below. You can share it, too.

Pegasus Reporters: making news that reaches your audience | Advertise with us! | Join our readers’ list on Telegram (+234 813 308 8344) Follow us on Twitter @pegasusreporter | We are on Facebook; The PegasusReporters | Chat with us on WhatsApp (+234 815 444 5334) | Download “Pegasus Reporters” App on Google Play Store | Contact the Editor, Mallam Oyakhamoh Y. Carl-Abu’Bakar with your adverts or articles via or

Read Our Preceding Post: Political Arena: The Limits Of Propaganda And The Challenge Of Igbo Nationalism – Anonymous


  1. As a poor Nigerian that this Government intentionally created us to be, the government has hidden agendas they are yet to unfold, otherwise, they cannot throw unbaked policy they too do not understand its workability on the masses.

    They said because the politicians hoarded money to use to buy votes, why suddenly do they realize buying votes is a criminal venture, something they never thought was bad before now? I pity the banks because I want to believe Emefiele is not in control and doing and saying what he is dictated to say. Imagine a CBN Governor given two-three orders in a day, if he were to be in charge, would he know the right orders to give at particular times?

    Nigerians should ask Emefiele how the newly printed notes got to terrorists in the bush they claimed to have used to buy ammunition. It was in one of the tabloids.

    The cabals are manipulating Emefiele to manipulate Nigerians in their favor. Nigeria has become a country with some many Presidents and leaders, the elected, appointed, selected and the unelected, unselected and not appointed. Nigeria now on a free fall.