January 31 Deadline: Customers throng banks, decry limited access to new banknotes

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On Monday, some customers in Birnin Kebbi thronged banks to either deposit or receive money and expressed concern over limited access to the new Naira notes.

Checks on different banks in Birnin Kebbi revealed that customers in their large numbers were sighted at different banks trying to gain access to the banks or access to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

In an interview at UBA in Birnin Kebbi, Musa Gero from Kukaru, Gulma in the Argungu council area said he had been in the queue since 6:00 a.m. but had yet to get access to the bank.

“I have been here for over five hours waiting in the queue to deposit my money. As I am talking to you, I am number 260 because the bank officials have written our names and issued numbers to all of us, so we are still waiting,” he said.

He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to consider the plights of Nigerians and extend the time to a certain period to accommodate all, or else many people would be counting losses even before the expiry of the period.

Also, in an interview at First Bank premises, Muktar Sambo from Zogirma village, Bunza council area, lamented that in the whole of the area, they did not have a single bank to do any transaction.

“We travel all the way from Bunza to come here and deposit our money since we do not have anywhere to keep our money. The timing is so short because they said on the 31st of this month, we came here to withdraw N100,000, but they said a person could only withdraw N40,000 at the ATM machines,” Mr Sambo explained.

He added: “What kind of wickedness is this? Somebody with his own money cannot withdraw N100,000 as stipulated by the apex bank. We are appealing to the government to rescind its decision by extending the period to enable Nigerians to enjoy their hard-earned wealth.”

Ibrahim Hassan, from Birnin Kebbi local government area, said he had been in the queue at GTB since 7:00 a.m. to deposit his money to beat the January 31 deadline.

“I am one of those who came first to the bank to deposit money, I have been here before 7:00 a.m., but my greatest surprise is that I still have more than 100 people in the front of the queue,” he said.

Mr Hassan decried the non-availability of the new Naira notes in circulation in the state and called on the government to review its policy or extend the deadline.

“Even in the bank now, if you want to withdraw money, they still give you old Naira notes. This is to tell you that even the bank is in short supply of the new naira notes. I am appealing to CBN to review its policy or extend the deadline by some months for people to have their money changed or deposited in banks,” he added.

It was gathered that only few of the 21 council headquarters in Kebbi and their adjoining villages have a bank presence.

(NAN)

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