By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Elizabeth Adegbesan
Banks, yesterday, increased cash payout to customers leading to sharp reduction in the long queues and massive crowds that characterised the cash dispensary points in the last two and half months.
This followed the sustained cash evacuation from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Deposit Money Banks since Friday last week.
Vanguard visits to several banks in some major cities yesterday showed that most of the banks’ branches had enough cash to meet customers’ withdrawal needs.
Vanguard visits to four banks on Broad Street on Lagos Island showed that all the banks allowed customers to withdraw as much as N200,000, a departure from the situation last week when customers could not withdraw more than N5,000 in most cases.
FirstBank branches paid N10,000 from the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to both customers and non customers while United Bank of Africa, UBA paid N100,000 over the counter and N20,000 in ATMs to customers and N10,000 to non customers.
However, a visit to Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, revealed that the bank only paid N15,000 to customers over the counter with withdrawal slip. Meanwhile, some Point of Sale, PoS, agents in the Lagos Island area had set the maximum withdrawal limit to N5,000 per customer.
Findings by our correspondent in Abuja yesterday indicated that all bank branches had enough cash to meet customers’ withdrawal needs.
A bank staff told Vanguard that CBN had maintained the supply of cash to the bank and that the pressure on them (banks) had ended.
Investigations across the city showed that the ATMs were dispensing mainly the old N1000 and N500 notes.
Vanguard also learnt that customers were also allowed to withdraw cash up to a maximum of N500, 000 (for individuals) allowed by the CBN over the counter.
It was gathered that the majority of those who throng banks in the capital city were there to resolve unsuccessful transactions that characterised the industry at the peak of the cash crisis.
Investigations also indicated that PoS operators were fully back in business as they were able to withdraw enough cash to meet the needs of the customers.
Their transaction charges have also moderated, as customers were no longer desperate to receive cash from them.
As normalcy returned, transporters and technicians in the capital city have begun rejecting transfer as means of payment, especially where the amount involved is considered meagre.
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