Friday 27 January 2023

Customers Stranded At Banks In Anambra Over Lack Of New Notes 4 Days To CBN Deadline

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It was learnt that the banks stopped paying customers because of the unavailability of the newly ‘redesigned’ Naira notes.

Some commercial banks in Awka, Anambra State have stopped paying customers over the counter or via Automated Teller Machines (ATM), preventing members of the public from making transactions, with just four days to the deadline for the old version of N200, N500 and N1,000 Naira notes to cease from being legal tender in Nigeria.

SaharaReporters reports that the banks stopped paying customers because of the unavailability of the newly ‘redesigned’ Naira notes.

Following the ‘redesigning’ of the Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2022 gave January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the exchange of old notes for the newly redesigned notes.

Insisting that the deadline which is now just four days away stands, the apex bank had directed commercial banks across the country to work even on Saturdays to enable Nigerians to deposit all the old notes in their possession. The CBN further directed commercial banks to work for 24 hours on January 31.

However, SaharaReporters had reported how Nigerians across the country lamented the scarcity of the new Naira notes as banks kept issuing old notes both on the counter and at ATM galleries.
On Friday morning, SaharaReporters visited some commercial banks in Awka, the Anambra State capital to ascertain the state of banks’ cooperation with the CBN directive of issuance of new Naira notes.

However, whereas it was discovered that some banks were issuing the new Naira notes to their customers over the counter and through ATM machines, Access Bank and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) branches located along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway had stopped paying, even through ATMs, leaving their customers stranded.  

At Access Bank, a security officer of the bank who refused to give out his name told SaharaReporters that the bank had told the customers to wait for the newly redesigned notes to be loaded into the ATMs. But after waiting for more than one hour and 30 minutes, some customers became angry.

The security officer, however, refused to explain the reason for the delay to the customers who lamented spending over an hour before SaharaReporters arrived at the bank.

Also, at the UBA ATM gallery in the Amaku area along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, customers were stranded as the bank’s five ATMs had no cash. When SaharaReporters asked one of the bank’s security officers why the ATM machines were not dispensing money, he said, “They are not paying because there is no money.”

Meanwhile, in front of the UBA ATM Gallery, SaharaReporters sighted a female POS operator carrying out her business and attending to some frustrated customers for whom she charged N500 for N5,000 withdrawal and N100 for N1,000 withdrawal.

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