Some Deposit Money Banks on Saturday opened their branches to customers for the purpose of collecting old N500 and N1,000 notes for deposit into their accounts.
This was contrary to the claim by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it did not instruct the banks to continue to collect the old notes from depositors.
On Friday, The PUNCH reported that the CBN had ordered banks to start collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes from members of the public and pegged the maximum amount they could collect from individuals at N500,000.
The CBN swiftly issued a counter statement signed by the Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, saying it did not give such a directive.
The banking regulator stated, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to some fake and unauthorised messages quoting the CBN as having authorised the Deposit Money Banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to only reissue and re-circulate the old N200 banknotes and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10, 2023.”
When one of our correspondents visited Access Bank in Oregun, Lagos, the branch was attending to customers who had succeeded in filling the required form from the CBN portal, and collecting the old N500 and N1,000 from them.
The CBN had opened a portal on its website and mandated all those willing to return their old notes to fill a form and generate a reference code.
An official at the Access Bank branch explained to Sunday PUNCH, “We are only collecting deposits of the old notes from those who have filled the form and generated the code. If you don’t have a code, you cannot enter because you will not be attended to. We have been open since 10am and will close by 2pm.”
When asked how many times a customer could come and deposit, he said, “You are required to bring all the deposits at once and it must not be more than N500,000.
“If it is more than N500,000, you have to take it to the CBN and we can collect it only once from you because the deposit will be linked to your BVN.”
At Zenith Bank on Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA, customers also came to deposit their old N500 and N1,000 notes before the bank closed by 2pm.
A security guard said, “If you don’t have a reference code, you cannot enter.”
He explained how to generate the reference code saying, “You have to go to the CBN website to register on the portal. Some people don’t know how to do it, but they have been going to cybercafés to generate the code. That is when you can deposit and it must not be more than N500,000.”
The GTBank at Olowoira in the Ojodu area of the state was also attending to depositors when one of our correspondents visited on Saturday.
A security guard, who refused to disclose his identity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said, “We have closed already, but some people are still inside the banking hall. We closed at 1pm and only those that had the code were allowed in.
“Some people came but because they did not have the code, we did not allow them in because it is mandatory. Those who had the code before 1pm were allowed in and some of them are still inside now, but we have closed for today to those that are just coming.”
Some depositors seen outside, however, expressed disappointment over the confusing information by the CBN over the collection of the higher denominations.
A man told Sunday PUNCH, “I have N480,000 that I want to deposit but I heard yesterday (Friday) that the CBN said it did not direct the banks to collect the notes, so I stayed at home.
“Later when someone called me that he was able to deposit the old notes, I rushed to the bank but was told that they had closed for the day.
“This is unfair because the information did not circulate. People were just saying all sorts of things. It is not fair coming here now and I cannot even enter the bank.”
Another woman standing outside the bank, Florence Ogundeji, said, “I thought it was not true until I got to the bank. It was then that I had to go and look for how to generate the code and when I came back, they did not allow me in. I have been standing outside.”
At the Polaris Bank branch at Olowoira, the security guards said the collection of the old notes was fake news and the bank did not open to the public.
However, a young man who was standing in front of the bank and spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity said, “I heard that we can deposit our N500 and N1,000 notes and that is why I am here.
“I have N170,000 with me but they are telling me that they are not collecting it.”
When Sunday PUNCH visited the UBA at Ojodu, an official of the bank said, “People have been coming to deposit their old notes, but we could not attend to them today because even if they have their code, our bank does not have the pin to verify the code.
“It is true that they can deposit the old N500 and N1,000 notes, maybe if our bank is able to get the pin by Monday, we will begin to collect the notes.”
Void Buhari’s directive – Govs
Ten states have asked the Supreme Court to declare the directive of the President, Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), reintroducing the old N200 notes as unconstitutional.
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NLC, TUC Suspend Planned Strike For 30 Days
NLC, TUC Suspend Planned Strike For 30 Days
… .FG To Pay Workers N35,000
.. Sign 15-point agreement with FG
Organised labour have suspended its planned nationwide indefinite strike action for the next month.
This was contained in a memorandum of understanding signed Monday by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; as well as the TUC President, Festus Osifo, and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro.
The three-page document was also signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.
“The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023,” the MoU reads in part.
“The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand
Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of
September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have
been signed into law.”
The decisions come at the end of an hours-long meeting between the Federal Government, NLC, and the TUC on Monday.
See the full MoU below:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING REACHED BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA AND THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) AND TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (TUC) AS A RESULT OF DISPUTE ARISING FROM WITHDRAWAL OF SUBSIDY ON THE PRICE OF PREMIUM MOTOR SPIRIT (PMS) ON MONDAY, THE 2ND DAY OF OCTOBER, 2023
Arising from the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Federal Government and the resultant increase in the price of the commodity, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a strike notice which had elapsed and they were poised to embark on a strike billed to commence on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023. Consequently, a meeting was called by the Federal Government to avert the strike and after much discussion, the following agreements were reached:
The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.
A minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.
Federal Government suspends collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023.
Federal Government accepts to vote N100 billion for the provision of high capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Provisions are also being made for initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme, whilst work is ongoing on state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide. The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide.
The Federal Government plans to implement various tax incentive measures for private sector and the general public.
On the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.
The issue of outstanding Salaries and Wages of Tertiary Education workers in Federal-owned educational institutions is being referred to Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
The Federal Government commits to pay N25,000 per month for three months starting from October, 2023 to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
The Federal Government will increase its initiatives on subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.
The Federal Government should urge State Government through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum to implement wage award for their workers. Similar consideration should also be given to local government and private sector workers.
The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds as announced by the President on the 1st of August broadcast to the Nation for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. The MSMEs beneficiaries should commit to the principle of decent jobs.
A joint visitation will be made to the refineries to ascertain their rehabilitation status.
All parties commit to henceforth abide by the dictates of Social dialogue in all our future engagements.
The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.
This Memorandum shall be filed with the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one (1) week as consent judgment by the Federal Government.
Comrade Joe Ajaero
Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, mni
Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo
Comrade Nuhu A. Toro
H.E. Simon Bako Lalong
Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment
Hon. Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha
Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment
Mallam Mohammed Idris
Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation
Nigeria At 63: Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodima Calls For Peace & Unity
Hope Uzodima Calls For Peace & Unity
IMO state governor, Hope Uzodima has called for peace and unity among the people of Nigeria in a statement he made to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.
“Today, we commemorate not just a historic event, but the unyielding spirit, resilience, and unity of our people in the face of numerous challenges and triumphs. Therefore, it is both an honor and a privilege to address you on this auspicious occasion of our great nation’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary.
This day, 63 years ago, marked the beginning of our journey towards independence and since then, we have made significant strides in various aspects of our nation’s development. As a diverse and vibrant tapestry of cultures, traditions and aspirations, we have weathered storms and celebrated victories together as a nation, always standing tall in the face of adversity.
I commend the indomitable spirit of our people who have shown resilience in the face of adversity and I want to assure you that my administration remains committed to addressing the pressing issues that affects the State, in collaboration with the Federal Government. We are working tirelessly to improve healthcare, education, infrastructure and security, among other vital sectors, to ensure a better quality of life for all.
As we raise our flags and sing our national anthem, let us do so with pride, knowing that our best days are yet to come. Let us use this Independence Day as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the ideals of unity, peace, and progress. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and realize the full potential of Nigeria.
Happy 63rd Independence Day, Nigeria! May our nation continue to flourish and may our State prosper.”
– Hope Uzodimma
Tinubu’s Minister Poisoned In Abuja
Popular Tinubu’s Minister Poisoned In Abuja
Nigerian tourism minister has been hospitalised in Abuja after suffering acute poisoning from unknown origins, her family members fear time was running against their efforts to save her life.
Tinubu’s Minister, Lola Ade-John, 60, was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, shortly after she started manifesting symptoms of her poisoning, according to family sources familiar with her ordeal. She has spent four days at the facility as of Friday morning.
Ms Ade-John, a career banker and tech investor, has been on a machine to aid her breathing, our sources said. The specifics as to what substance she ingested and how could not be immediately established. The police and the State Security Service did not immediately return a request on whether or not any investigations had been opened into the matter.
Her worsening situation has further set the family against the government, with the permanent secretary of her ministry said to be in disagreement as to whether she should continue receiving treatment at a public hospital or be moved to a better-equipped private facility downtown.
The permanent secretary, Ngozi Onwudike, was said to have insisted that the minister should not be transferred because the FMC is a public hospital and its services wouldn’t attract substantial charges to the government, a position her family rebuffed. But they remained with her as they could not raise funds to move her to a private hospital, our sources said. A phone number for the permanent secretary did not connect on Friday morning.
Ms Ade-John was appointed as a minister by President Bola Tinubu in August. She was immediately touted as one of the few cabinet members appointed from outside the political beltway. She was based in London for years before she was asked to return to the country to serve by the president.
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