As the naira scarcity persists, more banks have started shutting down their branches, according to findings by pentanew. See more details below.
Pentanew observed large queues still existed at the Automated Teller Machines of many commercial banks in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja and other parts of the country on Wednesday.
As the February 10 deadline for old N1000, N500 and N200 notes to stop being legal tender approaches, more Nigerians are getting frustrated due to the inability to access cash for their regular transactions.
This has further led to protests and attacks on banks, which have been condemned by the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees.
This came amid a Supreme Court injunction asking the Central Bank of Nigeria not to implement the February 10 deadline.
More commercial banks’ branches in Lagos have joined the long list of banks that shut down operations on Wednesday following the scarcity of new and old notes in the country.
According to the findings by Pentanew, the Fidelity Bank on Isaac John Street, Ikeja, was opened but customers were prevented from entering. The ATMs on the bank premises did not work when our correspondent visited.
Similarly, the First Bank on Isaac John Street, Ikeja, Lagos, was shut down. Our correspondent reported that none of the ATMs was working during a visit on Wednesday afternoon.
Our correspondent reported a total shutdown of operations at the Zenith Bank located at Ajisafe Street, GRA, Ikeja. All the ATMs of the lending bank did not work.
Also, the Access Bank at Abule Onigbajo Street, Lagos, was not operating while customers were barred from entering the lender.
A customer with Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr Anthony Ifeanyi, said he was stranded at the Anthony area of Lagos when he tried making a withdrawal from the bank there on Wednesday.
Upon visiting the Guaranty Trust Bank and EcoBank at the University of Lagos, our correspondent observed a long queue of several students both at the ATM machines and inside the bank awaiting the dispensation of naira notes.
Getting inside the banking halls, the bank officials noted that they were still waiting for cash as well.
One of the officials said, “We have not cash yet.”
Our correspondent observed that all bank branches in the Redemption Camp and Mowe axis were shut down.
This came a day after several branches of GTBank, Unity Bank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Ecobank, UBA, FCMB and others were shut on Tuesday.
In Ogun State, our correspondent visited two banks along the Alagbole-Akute axis.
At the First City Monument Bank along the Alagbole-Akute road, our correspondent observed that the bank did not open for business.
When our correspondent inquired from the security guard why the bank did not open during conventional working hours, the security guard said the closure was as a result of “the issue on the ground.”
Outside the bank, a small crowd of weary customers sat on stone slabs, ostensibly waiting for the ATMs to start dispensing cash.
Long queues were seen at ATM stands and banking halls in the capital city as customers, PoS operators endured the hot weather in order to perform financial transactions.
At banks located in Wuse 2 which include United Bank of Africa, Providus Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, only customers at Providus and Standard Chartered Bank were allowed to make a maximum withdrawal of N10,000 OTC.
PoS agents lament
Also, several Point of Sales agents did not have cash on Wednesday. Upon a request on the amount they charge for N5000, they noted that it was N1000.
Speaking with our correspondent, a PoS operator, who preferred to be referred to as Mercy said she was able to get some new notes would be sold at a high rate.
We call on the relevant authorities in Nigeria to do something to ease the suffering of the masses and make the new naira notes available to all.