As the deadline for the use of old naira notes draws closer, some customers in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State capital, on Monday, flocked to banks to deposit or withdraw cash and voiced concerns about the new naira notes’ limited availability.
According to The Punch, many customers complained that they have been there for more than five hours waiting in line to deposit their money.
They pleaded with the federal government to take into account the plight of Nigerians and extend the time to a specific timeframe to accommodate everyone, warning that failure would be imminent for many if it didn’t.
Malam Muktar Sambo of Zogirma Village in the Bunza Local Government Area expressed his regret that there was not a single bank in the entire region during an interview at another commercial bank’s offices
“We came all the way from Bunza to make a deposit because we don’t have a place to save our money, he said. They claim that we came here on the 31st of this month to take N100,000, but they only allow N40,000 withdrawals from ATMs. Thus, the timing is extremely constrained.
“What sort of depravity is this? that a person using his own funds can not withdraw N100,000 as allowed by the top bank? To allow Nigerians to enjoy their hard-earned money. We are pleading with the government to reverse its decision and extend the time frame.
The News Agency of Nigeria conducted checks on various banks in Birnin Kebbi and found that numerous clients were seen attempting to enter the establishments and use the ATMs.
Malam Musa Gero from Kukaru, Gulma in the Argungu Local Government Area of Kebbi State stated in an interview with NAN that he had been in line since 6 am but had not yet gained entrance to the bank.
A resident of the Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area, Malam Ibrahim Hassan, claimed that he had been waiting in line at a bank since 7am to deposit his funds in order to meet the deadline of January 31.
“My greatest surprise is that I still have more than 100 people in my front of the queue,” he added, adding that he was one of the ones who arrived at the bank first to deposit money.
Hassan criticized the lack of new Naira notes in use in the state and demanded that the government reconsider its approach or extend the deadline.
“Even today, if you go to the bank to withdraw cash, they still give you outdated naira bills. This is to inform you that the new naira notes are in short supply even at the bank.
“I am pleading with CBN to rethink its policy or prolong the window for people to swap money or deposit it in banks by a few months,” he said.
Only a few of the 21 local government headquarters in Kebbi and the nearby communities, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, have banks.