Professor Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, has directed banks to dispense new naira notes through ATMs and banking halls or risk losing their lands to the state government.
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Zulum issued the warning after visiting bank branches in Maiduguri, the state capital, to assess the difficulties residents were having in accessing new naira notes.
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“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 exempt banks with genuine and verifiable constraints,” Zulum stated.
Prior to that declaration, Zulum expressed his dissatisfaction with hundreds of people queuing at a bank branch, with only one out of ten ATMs dispensing cash.
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“As you can see, only the less wealthy are lining up. I didn’t see any wealthy people here. Many people are said to have been here since 3:00 a.m., with some unable to eat anything. “The new naira note, as well as the old ones, are not available, which is negatively affecting commercial activities in the state and people are suffering,” Zulum said as he sympathized with those waiting in line.
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“We just released salaries of about 5 billion naira, and the banks don’t have money, and some ATMs are not working,” the Governor added. We have no issue with the CBN policy or the withdrawal limit; they stated that individuals could only withdraw N20,000, but why can’t everyone have access to that N20,000?” he said.
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“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 worth N100,000 is now being sold for N35,000 because people are desperate for money, and some wicked rich people are going to rural areas to exploit poor people,” Zulum observed.
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The Governor urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that new notes are available at commercial banks so that people can access their money.
“Right now in Borno State, I’ve visited over ten ATMs and there is no cash,” Zulum explained.
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