Smiles lit up hitherto forlorn faces of depositors in the past few days, as many commercial banks opened for operations to disburse and receive cash lodgements, in line with the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 Several Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have been dispensing cash. The development led to a remarkable reduction in long queues of anxious depositors who hitherto besieged the banks

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, last Thursday, said tons of naira notes have been dispatched to commercial banks across the country as part of a coordinated effort to end the cash crunch imbroglio. He also directed them to open for operations on Saturdays and Sundays with the pledge to monitor compliance personally.

Many commercial banks across the country open on Saturday and Sunday.  As directed by the CBN, the maximum payout across the counter was N20,000, although some banks paid N10,000 with the promise of reaching the N20,000 threshold within the week as more cash comes in.

Hamisu Saliu, a trucker, described the relief as most timely therapeutic. “I was beginning to lose my sanity over this naira scarcity horror. Whenever I drive on the road and my mind strays to it, I develop palpitations even while on the steering wheel. It was that bad. 

“I’ve been buying naira at exorbitant prices. It’s not funny one bit”, he said.

Khadija Oseni, a trader in Kubwa market heaped the naira scarcity blame on Point of Sale (POS) operators, saying they connived with bank officials and security men to empty the cash hitherto loaded into Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

“I know two POS operators working for a senior banker. One is in Kubwa and the other at Zuba spare parts market. They hardly lack cash but they sell it at very exorbitant prices. In Kubwa, you N10,000 at N12,500, while in Zuba, N10,000 sells for N13,000. Isn’t this evil”, she queried.

 Uche Uwaleke, a Professor of Capital Market hailed the CBN for making more cash available to ease the suffering of the public. He also noted that the naira redesign was part of the cashless policy that holds loaded benefits for the country and the citizens, while making monetary policy administration easier and more fruitful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: