Banks comply with CBN’s directive to work weekends, customers throng premises

Banks in satellite towns of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Saturday opened for business as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
People gather outside a bank in the hope of changing old Nigerian Naira banknotes in Lagos on February 17, 2023. - Nigeria has been struggling with a shortage of hard cash since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began to swap old bills of the local Naira currency for new, re-designed ones, leading to a shortfall in banknotes. The cash scarcity has triggered protests in major cities as angry customers attacked banks and barricaded roads in unrest just days before Nigeria holds a February 25, 2023 presidential election. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in a February 16, 2023 broadcast sought to ease the scarcity by allowing old 200 naira bills to circulate until April 10. Old 500 and 1,000 notes were no longer legal tender. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP) (Photo by MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty Images)

Banks in satellite towns of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Saturday opened for business as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who monitored some banks in the Territory, reports that huge crowds of customers were seen at banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) galleries.

NAN also reports that customers were also seen standing on queues entering the banking halls one after another.
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The banks that opened for operations along Nyanya-Mararaba road include First City Monument Bank (FCMB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank, First Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, and Access Bank, among others.

Mrs Ngozi Ugoh, a customer at Access Bank said that although she did not know about the CBN directive, she entered to get some cash when she saw a large crowd in her bank.

”I didn’t know about the directive of opening at weekends but I was just passing by and saw people so I entered to see if I can get some cash,” she said.

Another customer, Mr Andy Jerry seen at Zenith Bank described the development as a welcome one.

He alleged that banks were complying with the CBN directive to work during the weekend to shelve the planned protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to the apex bank.

”I think the CBN compelled banks to work weekends so that the protest by NLC will not hold.

”I like this because it will give more time for people to access cash,” he said.

Miss Stephanie Ikpe commended the CBN for the directive.

She said the development would help reduce the cash crunch currently being experienced by the masses.

Ikpe appealed to the CBN to monitor banks to ensure that their weekends operation continued.

The CBN on Friday through the Acting Director, Corporate Communication s Department, said that a substantial amount of money in various denominations had been received by commercial banks.

The apex bank also directed all commercial banks to open for operations on Saturdays and Sundays.
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