CBN Bicker With Bauchi First Bank Over Undispensed New Naira Notes

While customers of First of Bank of Nigeria in Bauchi toiled in dusty and hazy weather queuing up to withdraw money from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in all its branches in the state, the bank hoarded millions of the redesigned currencies meant for dispensation to clients, contrary to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directives to commercial banks in the country.

Checks by the task force of the apex bank led by the Director of Medical Services CBN, Dr Jibrin Abdulkadir on Sunday on First Bank branches in Bauchi showed that the bank dispensed less than 30 percent of its N13,000,000 daily allocation for dispensation to customers through ATMs and Money Agents.

A First Bank Bauchi staff, who does not give out his name, told the team that N5,200,000 out of the N9,000,000 redesigned currencies meant for its ATMs is in the vault but refused to grant access to the banking hall of the bank’s Bauchi main branch until CBN’s officials mounted pressure on the Branch Manager who was away in Jos at the time of the visit.

He said the bank dispensed cash to money agents working with it once last week.

However, when the team asked why First Bank ATMs at the Central Market Bauchi branch are not loaded with new Nair notes despite the availability of the currency, he said “it was due to a mechanical fault with the bullion van of the bank.

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A furious and frustrated customer of the bank, Yahaya Shu’iabu said for over a week and still counting, First Bank ATM around Central Market has not been dispensing the redesigned Naira notes to customers as directed by the CBN. 

“The ATM works for certain hours and shut itself off for an hour before it continues to work again. But for the past couple of days, none of the machines give cash to customers. We have to go to the main branch which is always rowdy and crowdy.  

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“That is why you can see people sleeping in ATM queues waiting to withdraw cash when the machines are dispensing,” he said. 

Director of Medical Services of the CBN, Dr Jibrin Abdulkadir said appropriate sanctions will be meted out on erring banks to ensure compliance. 

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He said CBN will continue to monitor the disbursement of the redesigned Naira notes by commercial banks in the state until normalcy is restored. 

The Director said from the findings made thus far, it is clear that commercial banks in not just Bauchi State but the country at large are retarding the drive of the apex bank to make redesigned naira notes available to Nigerians. 


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