… As govt appeals for calm, adoption of alternative payment channels
From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had said that over a billion naira has been disbursed to Edo State in a span of three days to cushion the hardship faced by customers in accessing redesigned naira notes.
Director, Risk Management, CBN, Abuja, Dr. Blaise Ijebor, disclosed this in Benin City, Tuesday, where he implored citizens to explore alternative means of transactions to ease the demand for cash in the economy.
He said: “We are pushing out money regularly. On Sunday, we gave banks N400 million. That is why they were paying money on Monday. We gave out N200 million on Monday and today we have given out N460 million.
“We are doing everything within our power to improve the situation. We have allowed banks to pay over the counter with the limit of N20,000 payable to each person.
“We also gave money to microfinance banks to pay over the counter with a maximum of N10,000.
“The microfinance banks are to concentrate on the rural communities.
“I have been around the metropolis this morning to inspect bank branches and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and I can tell you the crowds are reducing because we are making payments.
“We will continue to do everything within our power to improve the situation.”
He added that the CBN is expecting a shipment of new notes, which will be dispensed through ATMs, stressing that by tomorrow, the ATMs that are empty will start working.
“If we are a little bit patient, very soon, the money will be everywhere and there will be no need for these problems.
Explaining the need for bank customers to explore alternative means of transactions, Dr. Ijebor said: “We are working with the Edo State Government for people to be able to make transactions with their residency cards when it is introduced to the economy. It’s a laudable project and we are supporting the state government on that.
“We are encouraging everybody to use alternative means of payments, such as bank apps, ATMs, USSD, POS, among others. For those without a bank account, this is a good opportunity to open one. We have authorized agents to do that for customers.”
He also called on POS operators and others selling the new naira notes to desist from such acts, as actions will be taken against anyone caught engaged in such acts.
On his part, Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Hon. Chris Nehikhare stated that the state government is interested in ensuring the citizens find relief, urging Edo residents to explore alternative payment options.
He added that the state government is building the necessary digital infrastructure to ensure ease of using digital platforms, adding that the state government is laying fiber optics to enhance the internet connectivity across the state.