Commercial banks in Ogun State are taking deposit of the old naira notes from customers but the ache remains how to access the new ones through the Automated Teller Machine ATM points of the banks.
The ATMs were either experiencing shortage of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 denominations of the new notes or not dispensing them at all on Tuesday with customers groaning over inability to engage in daily business transactions due to lack of cash.
Also, in the banking halls, some banks in Abeokuta, the state capital, dispensed old, dirty and foul smelling N10, N20, N50 and N100 denominations of naira notes to customers instead of the redesigned new N200, N500 and N1000 denominations Naira notes, according a customer who spoke to our reporter.
The customer said her bank claimed there were no enough supply of the new notes but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has blamed some the commercial banks in the state for the current scarcity being experienced by residents.
The CBN’s Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Department, Kayode Makinde said that most of the commercial banks in the state were frustrating the apex bank’s efforts at ensuring that the newly redesigned Naira notes moved round for the public to access seamlessly.
Makinde revealed that officials of the apex bank uncovered N4 million of new naira notes mismanaged by a commercial bank in Ogun State, accusing the affected bank and other commercial banks in the State of sabotaging the efforts of the CBN in making the new naira notes available.
The Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN Lagos, Kayode Makinde, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday while leading a team on the monitoring exercise in Ogun.
He told reporters at the Mowe – Ibafo area of Obafemi – Owode Local Government Area after he led a delegation of the CBN on an inspection tour of facilities of commercial banks, that officials of some of the banks are deliberately violating the CBN’s directives on dispensing of the new Naira notes.
Makinde, who along with other members of his team inspected bank vaults in places visited, disclosed that most officials in the affected banks kept substantial amount of the new Naira notes in their vaults without loading their ATMs as directed by the CBN.
The CBN team had visited commercial banks in Sagamu, Mowe – Ibafo axis of Obafemi- Owode Local Government Area before proceeding to Ijebu Ode, Ago Iwoye and the Ijebu Igbo areas of the state where the team compelled Heads of Operations of each of the commercial banks visited to open their vaults to ascertain if the new Naira notes received at each of the branches were dispensed to customers in accordance with the CBN’s due process provision.
“From our experience, CBN should not be blamed but commercial banks for the scarcity. We caught some of them, with new notes in their vault: we compelled them to upload them into their machines. We told them that instead of trying to ration, upload the ones you have and contact your Central Cash Management Unit who have direct access to CBN.
“We came across instances of sabotage on the part of operators, we will take the case up and will be dealt with appropriately.
“For instance, we came across a particular branch of one of the deposit money banks, which could not account for almost N4 Million of the newly redesigned Naira notes. Of course, we will invoke the full force of extant regulation on the concerned bank and its erring officials.
“This is the third week of ensuring strict implementation of our directive as regards issuance of new notes. The experience has been mixed, we saw some trying to hoard new notes, we compelled them to upload into ATM terminals, others had poor cash management.
“We gave directive that they shouldn’t pay out new notes via the counter. Some of the branches deployed resourceful cash management skills and they never ran out of cash, while other experience cash run out,” Makinde said.
Also commenting, CBN’s Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Department, Jayeola Olugbenga said the CBN was working to ensure that the masses are able to access to the redesign notes.
Jaiyeola, who led a wing of the CBN’s team to supervise the Ijebu-Igbo and Ago Owoye axis amongst others said the exercise was targeted at reducing inflation, as well as ensuring a financial inclusion of all the citizens.
“Financial inclusion, you could see that we have agents who get their money from deposit money bank (DMB)and they are to service rural areas and the people in the inter -land, so this money now they get to the rural areas even though they have maximum of 10,000 to dispense to one person, so overall it is going to be beneficial to the entire economy” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director for Research Department, CBN Dr Adeniyi Olatunde Adenuga explained that benefits of the exercise is to take care of financing for terrorism.
“It will reduce the issue of counterfeiting if not eliminating it in totality and if you observe, inflation has been trending upward.With this currency redesign programme, and we have also tried to introduce cashless policy, if our people imbibe in the culture of settling transaction through electronic means, it would reduce the cost of cash management and reduce cash outside the banks and it gives CBN the opportunity to have a good feasibility on money supply.
“You know when you have so much money in circulation it will leads to inflation, but if you are able to have control over cash outside the bank, it will definitely reduced the inflation, and we have already start seeing the positive results from the last inflation number that was released by National Bureau of statistics.
“Financial inclusion, you could see that we have agents who get their money from deposit money bank (DMB)and they are to service rural areas and the people in the inter -land, so this money now they get to the rural areas even though they have maximum of 10,000 to dispense to one person, so overall it is going to be beneficial to the entire economy,” he concluded.