Frustration as Old, New Naira Scarcity Worsens

Frustration as Old, New Naira Scarcity Worsens

Commercial banks on Wednesday witnessed minimal activity as frustrated customers resorted to alternative means of cash withdrawal following the scarcity of naira notes in the banks.

Our correspondents who visited some of the banks in Lagos state revealed that while most banking halls were empty due to paucity of funds in bank vaults, large crowds had formed outside some of the few banks that were rumoured to be preparing to load their Automated Teller Machines, ATM.

At First Bank Plc branch along Ogunnusi road in Lagos, there were a few customers arguing with bank officials who had insisted that the branch had run out of cash.

The story was similar at Ecobank, Zenith Bank, GTCO and Access Bank, all located in close proximity to each other along Ogunnusi road.

However, at Union Bank Plc, also located within the same axis, there was a sizable crowd of commuters jostling through the queue hoping that the bank would load its ATM.

One of our correspondents then went further down the road inbound to Ojodu Grammar School, visiting UBA and Access Bank.

At the United Bank for Africa, the ATM did not dispense cash nor were any payments made over the counter.

A bank official, who spoke with our correspondent said the bank had been restricted to paying denominations lower than N200 notes due to a CBN directive.

When our correspondent attempted to make a withdrawal to collect the lower denominations, he was told that there was no money available, not even a thousand naira.

At Access Bank in the same area, there was no form of over-the-counter payments, while the ATMs were not dispensing.

A commuter, Emmanuel Collins, who spoke with our correspondent at Access Bank adjacent Ojodu Grammar School, said he had just come from the banking hall of his bank (UBA).

He had pleaded to be paid any denomination at their disposal.

He said, “I’ve been to my bank. Since yesterday, they don’t have any cash. They said they don’t have N1000 and N500 notes. I asked them to pay me, even though it’s N50 notes, but they didn’t have.”

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