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Biafra: Cash crisis escalates in Nigeria


By Olakunle Olafioye
Bank customers across major cities in Nigeria, yesterday, continued to experience difficulties withdrawing money from Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
Signs of cash crisis in some banks have multiplied in the last few weeks, as bank customers complained of difficulties in withdrawing cash from the ATMs, forcing many of them getting cash across the counters.

Checks by Sunday Sun, yesterday, showed that the situation may have escalated further, as long queues and non- dispensing Automated Teller Machines were noticed in virtually all branches of banks visited by our correspondent in Lagos.
A bank customer, Daniel Wusu, who related his experience to Sunday Sun, said he left home as early as 7.00 am for an ATM point and did not return home until noon. “I visited several ATM points around Egbeda- Akowonjo and what I saw was frustrating. So many machines were not working. Where you manage to see any working, you have to grapple with long queue,” Wusu lamented.
Findings by Sunday Sun show that the situation was not different in virtually all states of the federation, including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, as bank customers reportedly groaned over their inability to get cash.

Felix Iredia, another bank customer in Abuja told one of our correspondents that the situation was getting more disturbing as most ATMs were not dispensing. He said: “I think there is a major problem with some of these banks which they are trying to manage. I just hope they will succeed in managing the situation well. Granted that we are in festive period when people need more cash but the situation, to me, appears more challenging this year,” Iredia said. Speaking in a telephone interview with Sunday Sun, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, spokesperson of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN attributed the situation to festivity. “Today is 24th day of December. Tomorrow is Christmas and Monday is also a public holiday. So is it not logical that there will be queue everywhere? There will definitely be queues everywhere, he said.

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