Business Hilights
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New notes: Nationwide riot loading as workers’ January salary hang in banks

Substantial fears of a mother of all riots seem to be in the making as many Nigerian public and private salary workers are running out of patience in their scrambling for new naira cash either via over-the-counter or at ATMs nationwide even as many transfers continue to hang.
Checks by Business Hilights correspondents across several states capitals showed that whereas many workers had received their January salary alerts, many are yet to access any cash from it due to paucity of cash in many commercial banks.
Checks in many banks in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt by our correspondents showed that majority of Nigerians crashing banks and ATMs are workers trying to access cash for their daily running of families.
Random checks by our correspondents revealed that while most banking halls were empty due to paucity of funds in bank vaults, large crowds had formed outside some of the few banks that were rumoured to be preparing to load their Automated Teller Machines.

Investigations also showed that in banks, both lower denominations of N5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 are nowhere to be found. The few dispensing ATMs are only giving new N1,000 which cannot help matters in terms of change when one uses it to buy goods.
Further findings showed that even in making transfers, many banks transfer systems only work if one is transferring from the same bank to the same bank as common inter-bank transfers’ are not effective.
Some of the customers claimed to be salary earners, who often get their monthly salaries through their accounts domiciled in microfinance banks.
Again, another observed error committed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the omission of Microfinance Banks in the entire implementation of new naira policy.
This is based on the fact that many MFBs are currently under locks and keys as they do not have direct access to new cash from the apex bank after all.
An official of a microfinance bank in Osogbo, who spoke under condition said the refusal of the apex bank to include microfinance banks in its plan for the replacement of old naira notes with new ones was responsible for the collapse of operations of the banks.
When contacted for a reaction, the Chairman of the National Association of Microfinance Banks, Osun State chapter, Mr Tunde Lawal, confirmed the collapse in operations of many of the banks which he blamed on a lack of cash to pay customers.

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