Some commercial banks in Kogi State closed down on Wednesday when customers staged peaceful protests over their inability to access money for daily use.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in Lokoja, customers in their droves picketed the banks and asked them to either change the daily narration of “no money” or close down.
Some of the banks affected include GTB, Unity, Zenith, Access and Unity Bank situated along IBB Way, which shut down for the day.
A customer, simply called Ibrahim, told NAN that their protest stemmed from the allegations that the banks refused to give or dispense the newly redesigned Naira notes to customers in flagrant disobedience to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) directive.
“We have been scavenging across these banks without success in getting any money that could help us and our families survive these hard times
“You can see how angry most of us are, and it’s just for a singular reason that we can’t access money that we can use to feed our families.
“Today, we have decided that no official of First bank, GTB, Unity, Zenith, Union and Access banks will be allowed to enter his/her offices to work.
“They will only be allowed in if they can assure us of money that could go round today,” the protester said.
Another protester, Mrs Jummai, said “it serves them (banks) right today, coupled with the punishment they have been giving us over our own money that we kept with them”.
Reacting on condition of anonymity, a bank official with GT Bank, described the situation as “very unfortunate”.
She expressed worry over the wrong notion customers hold against commercial banks with respect to the non-availability of the new Naira notes.
“What our customers don’t know is that the money we get for our daily transactions is not always enough to go around them.
“As it’s now, we have no option than to stay away from office for today since the customers are tensed and have locked us out,” she lamented.
NAN reports that the situation was different at Polaris, UBA, Eco and Fidelity banks, along the same IBB Way, which were open to customers. These banks were seen dispensing cash to their customers.