Banking activities in Niger state were shutdown on Monday as commercial banks protested against the state government.
This came days after the Niger State Internal Revenue Service went around the state to shut down some commercial banks for alleged tax evasion.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the strike action asking them to remain closed.
The CBN expressed its support for commercial banks during a meeting with the bankers’ committee in Niger state..
CBN support was disclosed in a message by one of the affected branch managers to staff seen by Daily trust.
The message reads: “Dear colleagues, kindly be informed that we are shutting down services with immediate effect. This is mandated by the CBN Branch Controller in the meeting with Banks yesterday. It is in protest against Niger State Government’s outrageous tax levies against banks in the state. Kindly attend to the customers in front of you and clear out,” the message read.
“I think the plan to seal the remaining banks tomorrow. So, the banks went and meet with the CBN, and that’s when they told them to shut down completely,” he said.
The Minna Branch of Zenith that was reluctant to join the strike on Friday was immediately queried by the Banker’s Committee.
“All banks shut down as at 9am in compliance to the shutdown directive with the exception of Zenith Bank due to their claim of not been able to get approval to shut down. This prompted a meeting at the CBN conference room with the Branch Controller where it was agreed that a letter of displeasure signed by all bank representatives and the CBN is sent to Zenith Bank,” the apex bank said.
As it stands, all banks in Minna are currently shut down with the directive that ATMs should be equally shut down.
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