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Customers throng banks to beat old naira notes deadline

Commercial banks in Awka, the Anambra state capital, have continued to witness high patronage by customers who are striving to beat the deadline for withdrawal of the old naira notes from circulation.

When Radio Nigeria visited some of the banks, hundreds of customers were seen inside banking halls trying to deposit their old naira notes.

Some of them, however, expressed worry over the delay and “sluggish responses” of the tellers who continually blamed network for the development.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers and the elderly were seen seating either on the floor or staircase of the banking halls as they waited for “the network” to improve.

Our correspondent observed that most of the affected customers were Point Of Sale (POS) operators, who have come to deposit old notes received from the public.

One of the POS operators, Okey Aruba, described the situation as “very frustrating” as he had spent more than four hours in the banking hall without being attended to.

Another customer , Tonia Chinenye, who said she came to upgrade her account, complained that “the network issues” had persisted for a long period, and considering that it was already her 4th visit to the bank for the same purpose.

The customers appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria and Commercial banks to find a lasting solution to the incessant network failures so as not to deny those willing to deposit their old notes the opportunity of doing so before the deadline.

Our correspondent reports that most customers were forced to stand for hours as the number of seats made available proved to be “woefully inadequate”.

Reporting by Uche Ndeke; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor