Naira Scarcity: Cross River Residents Besiege Banks

Residents of Calabar city in Cross River state have stormed the various commercial banks in search of cash.

It was reported that there were long queues at the Automated Teller Machines as well as those trying to gain access to the banking halls across the city.

However, most of the ATMs were not dispensing cash, and security personnel at most of the banks were having a tough time trying to maintain order as a result of the crowd.

Some of the residents said they had been in the queue as early as 6 a.m. in order to beat the rush.

They, however, regretted that as of past 8am, some of the banks were yet to open for reasons unknown to the customers.

A resident, Mr Abel Odidi, who lamented the situation, said he had not been successful in his attempt to get cash since Thursday.

“I had to come and try again this morning and unsuspectedly, the crowd I met when I got here around 7:30am was something lamentable,” he stated.

Mr Ashieshie Donald, who described the situation as “terrible”, fumed that residents were faced with the twin problems of not being able to assess cash both in the banking halls and the ATMs.

Similarly, a Civil Servant, Olarewanju Rotimi, who said he had been in the queue since 6am, said none of the two ATMs were dispensing cash.

“The worst of it all is that the PoS operators with cash are exploiting the customers with their exorbitant charges,” he said.

Attempts made to speak with some bank officials proved abortive as they said that only their headquarters could comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, there was heavy presence of security personnel within the capital city.

The personnel were seen strategically positioned at different locations within the ancient city.

The spokesperson for Police Command in the state, SP Irene Ugbo, said the deployment of security personnel was only a proactive measure against unexpected eventualities and there was no cause for alarm.

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