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We thought scarcity of new naira notes will end after the presidential election, bank customers say

The situation of the scarcity of new naira notes seems to be defying any solution going by the complaints of some bank customers who said up till now, the scarcity still persists and that they had thought that it would end after the conduct of the presidential election.

Many people had thought that the new naira notes in N200, N500, and N1000 denominations had not been in circulation shortly after they were launched because the government does not want the politicians to corner them and use them for vote buying.

In fact, the situation became so tough at a point that President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation on the issue, while also announcing that the old N200 notes would continue to be in circulation till April 10 and be used simultaneously with the new notes.

(Caption): The new naira notes.

However, four days after the conduct of the presidential election, the situation of the scarcity seems to be the same, just as some bank customers expressed worries over the issue, asking where are the new naira notes.

I visited a foremost bank in the Apata area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday afternoon in order to complain of some money debited from my account after I used POS but which were declined at the POS point in order to reverse the transaction. However, on getting to the bank's entrance where the ATM were placed, I found out that none of them was dispensing cash.

On getting inside the premises, I saw a large crowd waiting at the counter and I was told that they were being given N2000 each, just as the customers said the officials disclosed that they did not have enough to go round. In fact, two of them said Wednesday, March 1, was the first day they were allowed inside the banking hall since she had been coming to the bank for a week.

On getting upstairs at the Customer Care unit, I also saw a large crowd who came with one complaint or another, while some became agitated after the officials did not answer them on time.

I asked them about the situation and one of them, who gave her name as Aisha Olagunju, told me that she had been coming to the bank since Monday with the hope that she would get cash since she thought the ATM would begin to dispense immediately after the presidential election.

Another customer, who gave his name as Biodun Hassan, told me that it has been almost three weeks that the ATM in the bank premises dispensed cash, adding that he came down to get the new notes because he thought that they will be available since the presidential election had been concluded.

Another customer, who gave his name as Alfred Nnaemeka, told me that he was heading to his spare parts shop in Ifeleye and he decided to branch at the bank thinking he would get money since the presidential election has ended, but he added that he was disappointed when he was told that he could only get N2,000 in old N200 notes.

There is no doubt that the anger in the banking hall when I was there was palpable, just as one of the bank officials disclosed that he could swear with anything that the branch had not been given the new naira notes for some time, while also calming down the angry customers.

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