Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has directed that any bank which refuses to dispense new naira notes via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and banking halls should have its land revoked by the state government.
Zulum issued the directive on Friday afternoon in Maiduguri after visiting branches of banks to assess problems being faced by residents in trying to access new naira notes via long queues at ATMs amid acute scarcity and hopelessness.
“Any bank in Borno State that is not willing to ensure their ATMs are fully dispensing new naira notes cash to ease the suffering of our people, we will withdraw their land title immediately. We will only spare Banks with genuine constraints that are verifiable,” Zulum said.
He expressed dissatisfaction that “many people are said to be here since 3am, some could not even eat anything. The new naira note and even the old ones are not available and that is adversely affecting commercial activities in the state and people are suffering”.
“We just released salaries of about 5 billion naira and the banks don’t have money, some of the ATMs are not working. We don’t have any problem with the CBN policy or the withdrawal limit, they said individuals can only withdraw N20,000, but why can’t everyone have access to that N20,000?” he asked.
“Yesterday I was in Gubio with a population of over 70,000 people but it was impossible to source N100,000 in the entire local government, neither of the new note nor the old notes. A ram that is worth N100,000 is now being sold for N35,000 because people are desperate for cash, and some wicked rich people are going to rural areas to exploit poor people,” Zulum noted.
The governor urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure the availability of new notes at commercial banks for people to access their money.