DAILY COURIER – Banks across the country opened their doors to customers to withdraw cash and transact other financial transactions in line with the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Most banks operated between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with customers taking turns accessing the banking hall to collect mostly old notes.
DAILY COURIER reports that long queues were witnessed within the banking premises as customers besieged the financial institutions for transactions.
It was also observed that old notes were issued to customers, as new Naira notes was still being rationed to them.
In several states, long queues of customers trying to make withdrawals were recorded, with some of them expressing relief of getting their money after months of scarcity.
Bankers told our Correspondents that the Naira supply situation was expected to gradually ease out within the week and beyond as the CBN had matched its word with action.
Some of the customers told DAILY COURIER that with the withdrawal limits on both old and new Naira notes, they may be forced to face more hard times ahead.
In Sango Ota, Mr Rasaq Ogunremi, expressed joy that banks operated during the weekend as he was able to withdraw cash, after long months.
“I was at my bank for financial transactions, although, there were old notes that I withdrew from the Automated Teller Machines, (ATM) but the most joyful thing is that there was no queue at all, while the cash limit remains N10,000.
“But in other places, long queues were visible as customers lined up in front of the banking hall and ATM,” he said.
Mr Bulus Pam in Jos said that long queues were experienced in the morning, but gradually eased out towards evening as fewer people were seen on queue at most ATM points.
Pam said that many people preferred to queue than pay a certain amount on every withdrawal for PoS agents.
“Different banks have different withdrawal limits from N2,000 up to N20,000, but they are old notes. I still wonder why the new notes are scarce.
“But it is a thing of joy that the CBN has decided to make more cash available for Nigerians,” he said.
Ms Jennifer Osita in Abuja however decried situation that many banks stopped attending to customers before 4:00 pm, which was the closing hours set by the banks.
She, however, commended the innovations and ingenuity of some banks that have provided other means of attending to their customers’ complaints.
Janet Asuquo in Calabar said there were queues where she had gone to withdraw, but expressed optimism that the hardship would reduce after sometimes.
“I saw long queues in some other banks, but I thought things would be better than what they had been some months back.
“I have been coping at this time by collecting cash from market sellers and so far that has been my way out of this present predicament,” Asuquo said.
DAILY COURIER reports that the CBN directives on weekend banking came a few weeks after the Supreme Court ruling on the case of the redesign of the notes.