The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced strict monitoring to ensure that old bank notes are withdrawn from circulation in Akwa Ibom state.
This is to ensure that the January 31st deadline for withdrawal of old notes is complied with by commercial banks operating in the state.
In keeping with the directives, the Apex bank’s branch in Uyo on Thursday dispatched a team of its personnel to various commercial banks in the metropolis to monitor compliance across the state.
Our correspondent who monitored the exercise observed that while two of the CBN’s teams visited various banking locations in different streets in Uyo city, the third team visited some markets to sensitise traders on the CBN policies.
The banks visited include First Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, GBT bank, UBA bank and Union Bank all located at the banking layout, Udo Udoma Avenue. Others visited include Unity Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Ecobank and Wema bank located all along Aka Road, Uyo, the state capital.
Another group visited Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank, Union Bank, Globus Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Globus Bank, SUNTRUST bank, Keystone Bank, Access Bank, Polaris Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB), FCMB and Fidelity Bank in Abak road.
The Trumpet gathered that while most of the banks visited had started complying with the new directives, few others were yet to fully comply as some customers were complaining of lack of cash.
A customer in one of the banks at the Banking layout, Udo Udoma Avenue who identified himself as Eyo Ekerendu, a retiree, expressed dissatisfaction over the delay, adding that he has been around since morning but could not withdraw through the Automated Teller Machine.
“I have been around since morning but I can’t withdraw because they are telling us that there is no cash,” he said calling on the officials of the CBN to address the liquidity issues.
However, most of the banks were dispensing the new bank’s notes at their ATM points, apart from few branches of the Zenith Bank and Sterling Bank especially those inside the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) that were observed still dispensing the old notes both from their counter and ATM points.
It was observed that ATMs of Keystone Bank and First Bank were not dispensing, but customers were being paid from their counters.
Some of the banks even identified the shortage of the new notes as the reason they didn’t stock some of their ATM points.
Meanwhile, CBN has been commended for the ongoing enlightenment campaign for Nigerians to embrace the new Currency Redesign policy.
The commendations were made when officials of the CBN, Akwa Ibom State branch took the sensitization exercise on the new naira notes to Itam park and Itam market all within the Uyo metropolis.
The CBN officials led by the Deputy Director, Abuja office, Mr Ekanem Akpan and Assistant Director, Head Banking, Uyo branch, Mr Isang Agbomi visited the park and the market with thousands of flyers for the sensitization exercise.
Some of the people who reacted said they were happy to see officials of the CBN coming to the parks and markets to educate the people on the development of the new monetary policy in the country.
A long distant motor driver, Mr Emmanuel Udoh said they don’t have the power to reject the redesign naira notes since it was government directive and policy, but he regretted that members of the public might not be able to meet the January 31, 2023 deadline and therefore called for extension to March.
A trader at the Itam market, Madam Rose Michael who said since the introduction of the new currencies she had not seen how they look, tasked the management of CBN to “stop commercial banks and other monetary outlets to stop dispensing the old naira notes to customers for easy penetration of the new notes in the society”.
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