By Jimoh Ahmed, Adedotun Aderoboye, & Kayode Afolabi
The naira scarcity crisis worsened yesterday as commercial banks across Ondo State could not attend to their customers both at the counter and ATMs.
Investigation by The Hope revealed that the banks have ran out of cash to give their customers as the Central Bank has not released cash to them.
Customers were sighted at the banks yesterday waiting aimlessly and looking disappointed when The Hope visited.
Our reporter who visited Ondo town also gathered that most of them were not attending to customers.
It was observed that GTB, Wema, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank and Polaris Bank recorded long queues of anxious customers waiting to withdraw their money.
It was also discovered that some of the banks were locked as they turned their customers away.
At Ecobank, a staff who spoke with our reporter said “we have closed for today. We are no longer working.” When queried further about the reasons behind the sudden closure, he said he does not know.
At FCMB, a staff who confided in our reporter said that they were having problem with the network and that was the reason behind their partial operation.
A customer at GTB who simply identified himself as Faith said “the issue of naira scarcity is not getting better at all. Just imagine, in the whole of Yaba, there is only one ATM working and that is the only one we are depending on. I have been here for some hours. I cannot go home without collecting money here today. We are suffering,” he added.
Another customer at Access Bank who identified himself as Stephen said “this is not fair to people like us. Now, people are beginning to blame themselves for saving their money in the banks when the government ordered us to do so. I have money in the bank and I am suffering like this. I cannot withdraw money from bank. If I go to POS agents, they will collect huge charges from us. Even traders are charging us extra money when we pay with card. I thought the scarcity will stop after presidential election but it is even worse.”
Report from Ondo North said the cash crunch was biting harder as most banks in the area complained of having no cash in their vaults.
Most of the bank customers who had gone to their banks were surprised that they could not get what they intended withdrawing.
Residents of Ore, the headquarters of Odigbo Local Government area of Ondo state also lamented over the scarcity of the new naira notes in banks and the ATMs.
Our correspondent who visited banks in the town gathered that there were long queues at the banks.
A bank official who craved anonymity said the scarcity of naira notes is not a deliberate action, but was based on the directives from the head office.
The official while urging all bank customers to bear with them during this time, promised that the era of scarcity would soon be over.
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