Civil society groups protest against banks’ alleged hoarding of new Naira notes (VIDEO)
A coalition of civil society groups, on Thursday, protested against the banking system due to the scarcity of Naira notes.
This was depicted in a trending online video, on Thursday, with the procession, blocking the road at Marina in Lagos Island.
With chants of “All we are saying, give us new notes,” the gathering led by an unidentified man with a loudspeaker made their voices known within the environs.
The procession also displayed a huge banner which reads, “Banks are saboteurs to CBN’s Naira Policy.”
Majority of the banks have their headquarters domiciled in Marina, Lagos Island.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, during an appearance before House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on the New Naira Redesign, on Tuesday, accused the banks of hoarding the new notes.
He said some of them have not complied with a directive to only load the new notes on Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).
Emefiele said instead, the banks have been handing out bundles to individuals who spray them at parties.
He said: “These include specific directives to the banks to load the new notes into the ATM nationwide to ensure equitable and transparent mechanisms for the distribution of the new notes to all Nigerians.
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“We wanted to be sure that as the currency is issued, the banks must go through a process that is equitable and transparent, not treating some customers as a priority and some as less important.
“They were told to load this currency into the ATM. The ATM is a robot. People can only collect a maximum of N20,000 or N40,000, whether they are priority or not a priority customers.
“I addressed the bankers on Sunday and I expressed to them my disappointment and in fact, the disappointment of the President and that of leaders with the way this has gone.
“Many of us have unfortunately seen the new naira, instead of being used for the purpose it’s meant, is used in parties, in celebrations.
“Some said, maybe, it’s money from the ATM and I said no, money from the ATMs is already broken. They (the ones spread at parties) are in leaflets.
“What we saw being stamped on people at parties were packages of the new naira notes, which means they (banks) had breached certain aspects of the guidance note we gave to them.”
The CBN governor said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have been directed to go after the violators.
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