Huge crowd lay siege in banks, as CBN continues cash swap in Warri North

Ebenezer Adurokiya

Ahead of the February 10 deadline for the total take-off of the redesigned Naira notes, a huge crowd appeared in most commercial banks across Delta State on Monday.

Checks by our correspondent on Monday in Warri indicated that as early as 7:00a.m, crowds had gathered at the gates of most commercial banks.

While some of the customers were awaiting gaining entry into the banking halls for across-the-counter withdrawal, others were seen laying siege at ATM galleries.

As of 9:00 a.m., they were yet to start dispensing the new Naira notes to customers even as the crowds continued to build up.

Commercial banks, which ATMs were stocked with cash, however, didn’t dispense more than N5,000 to the chagrin of some of the customers.

A few respondents complained that the maximum of N5,000 being dispensed at Heritage Bank along Warri-Sapele road was paltry because, according to them, the amount is not “enough to spend for them and their children as they have to keep struggling to get N5,000 each day before they can feed.”

Two banks, however, stood out in their duty in alleviating the suffering of customers in Warri and Effurun in Uvwie and Warri local government areas of the state.

According to respondents, the commercial banks included Fidelity Bank and Premium Trust Bank which have been allowing customers to withdraw a maximum of N20,000 and have been consistent in stocking their ATM outlets.

Meanwhile, the officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have resumed the cash swap of old Naira notes with new ones at Koko and other riverine communities in Warri North Local Government Area of the state.

Deputy Director of Finance and representative of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, Mr Sunny Daibo, said his team visited some banks and also monitored some Points of Sales (PoS) across the local government area, assuring that the cash-trapped situation was improving.

“We were at Koko in Warri North Local Government Area. We had a tour of Ecobank PLC. We also monitored some POS across the Koko community.

“Right now, we are in Ajoke, a riverine community in the local government area and this situation is getting better by the day,” he noted.

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