The Central Bank of Nigeria has assured Nigerians that it has a sufficient supply of currency notes on hand and refuted rumours of cash shortages in banks and ATMs around the country.
A perceived shortage of naira bills has raised concerns among residents in a nation where most people rely on cash for most daily activities such as paying for purchases and taxi fares.
The bank said it carried out a survey on the concerns over scarcity of cash and its findings showed that this was caused by high volume withdrawals from its branches countrywide by commercial banks and panic withdrawals by customers from ATMs.
It assured Nigerians that there were enough currency notes to facilitate economic activities across the country and that its branches are trying to ensure smooth operations to fulfil the demands of their respective states.
"While we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country," the bank's the Director of Corporate Communication, Isa AbdulMumin, said in a statement.
"Members of the public are, therefore, advised to guard against panic withdrawals as there is sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities."
The apex bank also encouraged Nigerians to use alternative modes of payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash.
Nigeria's currency has weakened sharply after the government's removal of foreign exchange controls have sent it to successive record lows against the dollar.
(Editing by Seban Scaria email@example.com )