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Banks confirm receiving more cash, load ATMs

After a prolonged cash crunch that has made life difficult for millions of Nigerians and residents, the Central Bank of Nigeria has increased its efforts to flood the economy with additional cash by issuing additional old notes to Deposit Money Banks.

On Thursday, the CBN began disbursing billions of naira to DMBs. The PUNCH observed how several branches of banks opened over the weekend and dispensed cash to their customers via Automated Teller Machines and over-the-counter methods. Bank officials stated that the CBN again released several billions of naira to lenders on Friday.

As directed by the apex bank, some of the banks had sent emails to their customers informing them that they would be open for banking over the weekend.

Visits to banks’ branches in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun and different states uncovered that most banks agreed with the request for the CBN and took care of clients both in the financial lobby and administered cash through ATM.

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On Saturday and Sunday, the majority of banks’ branches along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and in the Gbagada neighborhood of Lagos opened and distributed cash to customers.

Through its ATMs, the Access Bank branch at the Sadiku Bus stop on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway distributed cash.

Both in the banking hall and at its ATMs, the United Bank for Africa branch in Oshodi, which is close to the expressway, offered cash withdrawals. Over-the-counter, customers were able to acquire N20,000.

Customers of the Access Bank branch that was adjacent to it were permitted to withdraw N20,000, whereas holders of ATMs from other financial institutions were only permitted to withdraw N5,000.

In the banking hall, the Fidelity Bank branch on the Oshodi Expressway also paid N20,000. Only one of its three ATMs was dispensed, paying customers of other banks N5,000 and its own N20,000.

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Our correspondent observed no banks issuing crispy naira notes in the interim, and customers were unconcerned as long as they received cash.

Baba Taju, a taxi driver, said it didn’t matter what kind of naira notes he had as long as he had some to spend.

“You imagine that is significant at this point? When we were unable to obtain any cash, what did we do? As long as I can spend it, I’d appreciate any cash, he said.

Additionally, on Sunday, customers in the Federal Capital Territory continued to receive naira bills.

Customers trying to make over-the-counter purchases were seen in groups at the banks’ ATM galleries.

Only Guaranty Trust Bank and Stanbic IBTC opened their physical branches along the airport road, while Zenith Bank remained closed.

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Our correspondent noticed that the old N1,000 notes that were given to customers were not crisp because officials had separated the mutilated notes before handing them out.

Our correspondent observed that there were no long lines at the Zenith Bank, PremiumTrust Bank, GTB, Unity Bank, and Access Bank branches in Redemption Camp along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State, and that after the Sunday service, bank customers were permitted to walk in and carry out their usual transactions.

In addition, both old and new naira notes were made available.

Our correspondent went to six banks along the Ojodu-Berger axis of Lagos State. Union Bank Plc, Ecobank, Access Bank, GTB, Zenith Bank, and First Bank were the financial institutions. Except for Guaranty Trust Bank, none of the six banks opened their banking halls to customers. The ATMs were also empty.

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