Bad Network Frustrate Bank Customers In Delta

RESIDENTS of Delta State, especially Asaba, the state capital, are now enmeshed in the struggle to get few available naira notes as most commercial banks are faced with a shortage of cash in circulation, coupled with network issues.

This is coming about 48 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) succumbed to the Supreme Court verdict that extended the legality of the old naira notes of N1, 000, N500, and N200 notes to December 31, 2023.

Our Correspondent, who monitored activities in commercial banks in Asaba, yesterday, observed that most customers were still stranded and facing scarcity of cash due to non-availability of cash at the banks and communication network problems. It was observed that out of about 20 banks in the city, only four were dispensing cash, either through ATM or over the counter. In banks, where cash was available in the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), long queues of customers were seen waiting patiently for their turn, as the machine was not working effectively due to network problems.

Some of the customers, who spoke to our correspondent on grounds of anonymity, said they waited for hours before making withdrawals, through the ATMs, even as they lauded the CBN for the window of opportunity to get cash, yesterday. One of the customers said: “We call on CBN to come to our aid in the circulation of both old and new naira notes to enhance businesses in our environment. Also, it will ensure smooth gubernatorial election, which is a major focus of the federal and state governments come March 18, 2023”.

Another customer, who simply said “I am a government worker”, averred that “only a few banks have complied with the CBN orders; but are crowded here (in one of the banks), while others are empty due to network failure and shortage of cash”. Another unidentified client observed that: “The maximum cash withdrawals by most banks was only N10,000 for bank customers, while other bank customers are getting N5,000 only”.

Efforts to comment from an official of one of the banks proved abortive as the entrances were overcrowded by desperate customers struggling to get money.

Recalled that the apex bank on March 13, 2023, gave out directives in a statement titled “Old N200, N500, and N1, 000 banknotes Remain Legal Tender – CBN’,

Stated that “the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and directed that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023”.


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