By Fisayo Akinduro, Sade Adewale,
Jimoh Ahmed & Kayode Afolabi
Several banks in Ondo State yesterday ran out of both the old and the new naira notes and failed to attend to multitudes of customers who thronged the banks in desperate need of cash.
Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, directive on the old naira notes, there were chaos in the banks as many Nigerians were unable to get cash.
Sources at the banks who hinted our reporters said the development was as a result of non availability of cash in the banks.
The apex bank had last week validated the use of the old N500 and N1000 naira notes till December 31, 2023.
In Akure metropolis, The Hope gathered that many of the customers refused to leave the banking halls despite being told of lack of cash.
The ATM galleries were also filled up with people as early as 6am.
Residents and bank workers who spoke with The Hope said they were hopeful the naira scarcity would end after Saturday’s elections.
They pleaded with the apex bank to make enough money available for commercial banks.
Residents of Ondo city expressed dissatisfaction and concerns over the scarcity of new and old Naira notes in banks.
Speaking with The Hope, a resident, Mayowa Omoleye said bank officials told them that banks have ran out of both the old and the new naira notes.
Also speaking, Mr Ayomide Oladele regretted that the cashless policy has brought untold hardship to the people, saying scarcity of the new and old notes has made it practically difficult for people to survive.
Ruth Olajide, lamented that banks were no longer in possession of the money CBN ordered them to dispense, describing this as unfair and not good enough.
Olajide appealed to the authority of the CBN to return the old naira notes collected from Nigerians to commercial banks so that people could à have access to them.
Reports from all the major towns and communities in Akoko and Owo areas of Ondo State showed that all the commercial banks that opened for transactions did not have cash to pay their teeming customers.
A bank official who does not want his name mentioned told our correspondent that both the old and new currencies were not available in the banks to dispense to their customers.
He observed that the Governor of Central Bank is not sincere in his compliance with the Supreme Court judgement.
A customer from Akungba Akoko, Chief Seriki Awesu, said the currency crisis is still bitting harder now that banks have no cash in their vaults.
According to Awesu, this has further given room to PoS operators to exploit the people and appealed to Nigerians to bear with the present situation and not take laws into their hands.
A cleric from Okeagbe Akoko, Pastor Gabriel Agbaje, said what the people are currently experiencing as a result of the cash scarcity will soon become a thing of the past.