Zenith Bank Shuts Down Branches In Lagos Over Naira Scarcity
On Tuesday, Zenith Bank shuts down branches across the country due to a paucity of new naira notes, which has led to attacks on its operations by desperate Nigerians trying to exchange their old currency for the freshly redesigned banknotes, the currency shortage
Customers had complained about not being able to access their accounts in the bank either online or at the counters prior to the closure.
A bank representative at one of the Ikeja branches told reporters that the bank was unable to obtain enough cash to satisfy its throngs of customers.
The inability of the bank to service its customers has led to a scuffle in some branches by some customers who have been frustrated by the Scarcity
“Many of our branches were attacked by customers who were unable to get the new naira notes on Monday. So the management decided to shut those branches for safety purposes,” a senior official of the bank told one of our correspondents.
The official who does not want to be named said “where there are no sufficient new naira notes to be disbursed, we decided to shut down for security reasons.”
He, however, declined to name those branches that were closed as of the time of publication but stated that some branches are still open for business on Tuesday.
On Monday, some branches of the bank in the Lekki/Ajah axis of Lagos were hurriedly shut following attacks from some desperate customers who were unable to withdraw their money from their accounts.
The Zenith Bank employees were shown in several social media videos scaling fences to get away from the attacked branches.
Customers of the bank also said that the bank’s internet network crashed and that they were unable to complete transactions, which made the lender’s position worse.
However, as of the time of this report, the majority of the branches on Lagos Island, Victoria Island, and the Mainland were closed.
Despite the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele‘s guarantee that the central bank will increase the distribution of the new Naira notes to banks so that many Nigerians may get the new naira notes from their banks, the whole banking sector has been illiquid.
Efforts to reach the spokesperson for Zenith Bank proved futile as calls and messages sent to his mobile number were not responded.