Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun paid an unscheduled visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Abeokuta branch on Monday to seek relief on the amounts citizens could withdraw in exchange for deposits made in commercial banks.
The governor also offered to lead members of his cabinet in monitoring cash distribution to banks in order to ensure that no commercial bank or its agents hoard the new naira notes in the state.
Abiodun stated this during a visit to the apex bank’s management in Abeokuta, led by Branch Controller Wahab Oseni.
Abiodun who later met with the Bankers Forum, made up of managers of commercial banks in the state, also extracted a commitment from both the CBN and commercial banks to make cash available to bank customers from Tuesday.
According to the governor, “it is disappointing to see long queues of residents at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), waiting to cash money from the system with so much stress and some not getting enough to meet their immediate needs.”
He added that it was humiliating that those who were attended to were paid not more than N2,000 per transaction.
Abiodun, however, urged the CBN to ensure the availability of new notes at commercial banks for people to withdraw their money.
The governor explained that he was compelled to visit the state branch of the CBN as the “landlord to find out how we can collaborate to ensure that success of the CBN policy on the new notes and currency swap”.
“I have met with the President and CBN governor. It is within the right of the CBN by law and as enshrined in the constitution.
“Our people went out in their numbers but our people who deposited money and felt they would have as much money as they had deposited or need for their daily needs did not get enough.
“We’ve had to suspend our campaigns. I met with people over the weekend who said to me that they have not eaten for days, especially, those from the informal sector.
“As a governor, whose primary function is the welfare and security of our people, I need to find out how we can interact with you to see how we can improve on the current level of distribution of the currency in order to diffuse tension,” Abiodun said.
The governor who appealed to the youths in the state not to embark on any civil unrest, noted that such actions would only shut down the economy of the state and make things much more difficult.
“I want to use this medium to talk to our youths that when there is a problem, the solution is not to hit the streets and to start protest marches; we can not solve a problem with another problem.
“You can not because of this problem now want to begin to hit the streets to shut down the system and commercial activities,” he said.
Earlier, Oseni pleaded with the people to exercise patience.
He assured the people of the state that they would start having access to more cash as from Tuesday.
The branch controller added that the Ogun branch of the bank had enough cash to distribute among commercial banks in the state.
He disclosed that the bank had come up with a plan that would see 40 per cent cash disbursed to money agents, 30 per cent paid across the counter and 30 per cent paid through the Automatic Teller Machine.
He also added that Microfinance banks in the state had also been added to the plan of cash disbursement across the country. (NAN)
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