NAIRA SCARCITY: Customers Stranded, As Banks Delay Cash Payment


Anxious bank customers in Nigeria massed at Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) seeking to transact their businesses, mostly cash withdrawal, in the midst of the lingering Naira scarcity.

Commercial banks in some satellite towns of Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are yet to start cash payment, leaving customers stranded and frustrated in spite of the Supreme Court ruling.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored banks in Nyanya, Mararaba and Karu in the FCT, on Tuesday, reports that none of the banks have started paying customers over the counter or via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

The apex court had on Friday nullified the ban on use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes saying the notes still remained legal tender until December 31.

However, the gates to the banks are still being manned by security officials who barely permit the numerous customers with complaints to go into the banking hall in turns.

Some of the customers who spoke with NAN said that the current development in banks was frustrating.

A customer seen at Zenith Bank, Mr. Isa Abdullahi, said: “I have been here since 10:00 AM and this is 3:00 PM to complain about some failed transactions but I was refused entry.

“The crowd here is discouraging. They are not even listening to anybody here.

“Some people said that after the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Naira will be released everywhere but that is not the case.

“We are suffering so much in this country. You will have money but you cannot access your money.”

Also, Mrs. Angel Abiodun, another customer at the First Bank, Karu Road, described the situation as annoying.

“I am helpless. I came to my bank to complain about my expired ATM card and also to collect some cash, but I was not allowed in.

“If I knew that the situation would turn like this, I wouldn’t have deposited all my money in the bank even when they told us to take our old notes to the bank.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should do something and save us from this mess,” she said.

Also, some Point of Sales (PoS) terminal operators also confirmed to that the new Naira notes were still scarce.

A PoS operator, Gami Johnson, said: “I wonder what is happening. We are yet to see the old or new Naira”.

The CBN is yet to respond to the apex court judgment on the old notes.

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