…banks to work, Saturday, Sunday

There was a slight improvement as cash disbursement to customers by deposit money banks in Benin, the Edo State Capital in the morning through the afternoon, Friday. This followed a promise by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to flood the banks with old N1,000 and N500 notes.

The said N1,000 and N500 notes had been invalidated in a currecy redesign exercise carried out by the CBN. The notes were however revalidated weeks later by a Supreme Court ruling which quarshed the CBN’s decision.

In Benin City, the Edo State Capital, Friday, most banks were dispensing cash. Some banks disbursed by hand through tellers across the counter, others dispensed through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) yet others dispensed both by hand and through ATMs.

There was a flurry of activity at Polaris Bannk, First Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and GTBank, all on Ekenhuan Road. The same was the case at UBA, AccessBank and Zenith Bank on Airport Road.

At these banks, much of the disbursements were made in the old N1,000; N500 and N200 currency notes, indicating that the CBN’s directive to reintroduce the old noted was coming into effect.

On Friday, the queues at the banks moved faster than in the past weeks and success rate of customers seeking cash was higher.

Most of the banks were however dispensing a maximum of N10,000 to customers, thus still limiting the cash feed into businesses and homes.

Meanwhile the situation promises to further improve at the weekend as the Central Bank reaffirms that it has pumped huge volumes of the old N1,000; N500 and N200 back into the vaults of the commercial banks.

The CBN has also directed commercial banks to compulsorily open their doors to busisness on Saturday and Sunday and dispense cash to customers to relieve the nation’s seven-week long cash crunch which visited much discomfort to homes and businesses.

Acting director, corporate communications department of the CBN, Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, said in Abuja on Friday that a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by the commercial banks for onward circulation to their respective customers.

According to him, the CBN had directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be patient as the current situation would ease soon with the injection of more banknotes into circulation.