Four days to the expiration of the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to cease from circulation, Deposit Money Banks have taken extra security measures to prevent angry customers from attacking their branches and destroying facilities.
Saturday PUNCH reports that customers besieged bank branches in different parts of the country on Friday in attempts to withdraw new notes for use during the weekend and deposit old notes so that they would not be caught napping as Tuesday’s deadline approaches.
However, most of the customers were disappointed as they could not make withdrawals through the Automated Teller Machines as most of the machines had been shut due to non-availability of new notes, while the few ATMs that were dispensing cash had long queues of desperate customers.
Similarly, security guards at bank branches had a hectic time controlling the surging crowds making attempts to enter the banking halls to see if they could withdraw new notes over the counter. The situation almost degenerated into a free-for-all in some of the branches visited as customers complained of waiting in queue for hours without being allowed inside the banking halls.
The branch manager of a Tier-1 bank in the Lekki area of Lagos State told Saturday PUNCH that the lender had taken extra security measures to forestall attacks on its facilities by angry customers who were unable to get the new notes.
The manager explained that despite assurances by the apex bank that it was supplying enough new notes to the banks for circulation to their customers, the truth was that the lenders were not getting enough.
She said, “The truth of the matter is that the cash available is not enough. Last Saturday, my branch received N9m in new notes to be loaded into four ATM terminals. Each terminal normally takes N8m in N1,000 notes, but we had to load only three terminals with N3m each, and by Monday morning, the money had been exhausted.
“We didn’t get another supply until Wednesday when we got only N4m, which was loaded in two ATM terminals. Of course, it didn’t take long for customers to withdraw everything.
“Even this night (Thursday), there is a long queue of desperate customers, but only one terminal is working as the other one has a problem and we can’t fix it this night because if anything negative happens, we are not covered by insurance at this time of the day.
“We anticipate that some angry customers may want to vandalise our facilities and forwarded our observation to the head office, which has proactively deployed more security personnel to this branch and others with similar scenarios.”
It was learnt that the state police command had also deployed additional personnel and equipment, including armoured personnel carriers, in strategic locations where banks were concentrated in order to quickly quell any uprising by angry customers.
Another bank manager in the Abule-Egba area of Lagos State told one of our correspondents that officials had to take extra measures in anticipation of security breaches as the area is volatile as hoodlums could capitalise on the slightest protest by angry customers to vandalise and loot banks in the area.
The bank manager said more armed policemen were now manning the branch and were visible unlike in the past when customers would not know that they were on the premises, while the company supplying non-armed guards had increased the number of its personnel.
Saturday PUNCH noticed an armoured personnel carrier strategically placed at the Abule-Egba and Oko-Oba Road junction with armed riot policemen visible.
A mild drama was witnessed at the UBA branch in Ibafo, Ogun State, where all the ATM points had run out of cash, while desperate customers who wanted to get into the banking hall were kept under a canopy set up for COVID-19 restrictions. When a young lady approached the security guard and introduced herself as an employee of the bank and was granted access into the banking hall upon the presentation of her identity card, customers who had spent hours in the queue protested what they termed favouritism by the guard and insisted that they too would go inside the hall.
It took many minutes to pacify the angry customers, who accused the lender of deliberately punishing them, but an official of the bank came out to explain to them that the new notes supplied by the apex bank had been exhausted since Thursday.
A similar scene was witnessed at the Access Bank branch a few metres away as only two of the eight ATMs were dispensing cash with many customers in queue exchanging angry words.
At both the Ecobank and Zenith Bank branches inside the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries’ Prayer City in Magboro, off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the ATM terminals were out of cash. A security guard at the Zenith Bank branch told one of our correspondents that no new notes had been supplied for two days and that the N100 note loaded into the ATM terminals had been exhausted within one hour.
At the Ecobank branch in Ijaiye area of Lagos, only one out of about eight ATMs was dispensing the new N200 notes, while customers were being paid in old notes over the counter. This, however, elicited protests from many customers, who rejected the old notes.
A similar scene played out at the First Bank branch at U-Turn, Abule-Egba, where only one ATM was dispensing N100 note to customers. A customer, Mr Shola Kolade, who attempted to deposit N50,000, had to abandon the bank and patronised a Point of Sales agent outside the premises, who charged him N700 to collect the old notes from him.
Cashiers at the UBA, Abule-Egba, told Saturday PUNCH that they were awaiting fresh supply of new notes as what they had had been exhausted at the ATM terminals.
At Ecobank in Ojodu, only two ATMs were dispensing new N200, while the banking hall was flooded by depositors who wanted to beat the CBN deadline for the old notes to be deposited in banks.
A senior banker told Saturday PUNCH that supply of the new notes by the CBN had been insufficient to meet the needs of customers, adding that the apex bank was giving the banks only 10 per cent worth of new notes for the volume of old notes they returned to it.
He explained, “The CBN is giving the banks just 10 per cent of new notes of whatever amount of old notes we collect from customers and take to the CBN. For instance, if we mop up N1bn in old notes from customers and take that to the CBN branches, we are in turn given N100m in new notes to load into our ATMs.
“We were initially rationing what we load into the machines and mixing the old and new notes, but since the CBN imposed a penalty for dispensing old notes through the ATM, what we now do is to load the machines with the new notes and N100 that is not redesigned and once they get exhausted, we shut down the machines and wait till we get fresh supplies, which oftentimes take days.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has asked banks to reach out to police divisions close to them for adequate protection of their facilities, especially ATMs, following the increasing crowds at banks and ATM points nationwide.
Reacting to fears of possible chaos that could threaten bank facilities, the NPF noted that it was the duty of the banks to resolve issues with their customers, adding that the police were only concerned about security.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said, “If any bank is having problems with regard to security, they should contact the Divisional Police Officer within their vicinity, as all banks are expected to work with their DPOs.
The Kano State Government and Islamic clerics from the Tijjaniyya, Qadiriyya and Izala sects in the state have called on the CBN to extend the January 31 deadline for old naira notes.
The call was contained in the resolution of a meeting by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, top government officials, and Islamic clerics at the Government House on Thursday.
The meeting, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Hassan Musa Fagge, on Friday, noted that economic activities had been paralysed in Kano due to hardship caused by the shortage of the new notes.
The Chairman of MURIC in the state, Muhammad Aliyu, in a statement on Friday, said the January 31 deadline had almost grounded businesses in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, because of people’s refusal to accept the old naira notes for commercial transactions out of fear of their inability to deposit the notes in commercial banks.
In order to beat the deadline for the deposit of old notes, some banks have extended their work days to include Sunday. In notices sent to their customers, the banks said old notes should be brought in for deposit on Sunday as they had made provisions to receive them.
First Bank said in a notice to its customers, “This is to notify the general public that all our branches will be open on Saturday and Sunday just to receive cash.
“All old naira notes of series 200, 500 and 1,000 will cease to be in use from the 31st of January.”
Similarly, GTBank stated in a notice to customers, “Avoid the rush, deposit your old naira notes today. Dear customer, kindly be reminded that by Tuesday, January 31, 2023, the former naira series of N200, N500 and N1,000 notes will no longer be recognised as legal tender.”
Ecobank said in a notice titled, ‘Don’t let that money go to waste!!!’, “Dear customer, this is to inform you that our branches will be open this Saturday and Sunday for your cash deposit only. Time: 10.00am to 3.00pm.
“The old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes will cease to be legal tender after Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Hurry now to beat the deadline.
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says he is the most qualified of all the persons vying for the presidency
Speaking at a town hall engagement with students of the University of Abuja, Obi said he’s going to stop the poverty cycle and other challenges bedevilling Nigeria if elected.
The LP candidate said the elections are about the youth, and that they should seize the opportunity to make a difference.
He said the education sector will not suffer under his watch if elected, adding that Nigeria’s problems revolve around political leadership that has failed the country.
“The next election is about you, the youths, and you must seize the opportunity to take back the country by insisting that character, competence and antecedents guide your decision — not religion, tribe, region, or my turn — because in truth, it is the turn of the teeming Nigerian youths who are wasting,” he said.
“The reason my manifesto is centred on turning the country from consumption to production is to stop the country from recycling poverty.
“The only thing this country is manufacturing is poverty, and Datti and I are coming to change all that because no country grows by consumption, without production.
“Poverty is increasing in Nigeria because we are not investing enough in education and health which is what makes the difference between a rich and a poor country.
“I am assuring you that all that will stop under my watch.”
He said securing the country remains his priority, adding that his administration will negotiate with agitators and deal with those who might be uncooperative “because there can only be one government in a country at a time”.
In his remarks, Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, vice-chancellor of the university, commended Obi for visiting the school to inspire students.
Na’Allah said the aim of the meeting was to discuss issues around politics, adding that “intellectual engagement is the basis of political leadership”.
He said there is a need to scrutinise those aspiring to govern the nation.
Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for 2023, has responded to the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal’s decision on Friday to remove Ademola Adeleke as the state’s elected governor from the results of the July 16 gubernatorial election.
WITHIN NIGERIA reports that the tribunal today declared Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the genuine winner of the election in a two-to-one ruling.
In response to the ruling, Atiku urged the people of the state to remain calm and have faith in Adeleke, to whom they gave their mandate during the elections.
The presidential candidate expressed confidence that Adeleke will emerge victorious after the Tribunal’s decision.
On today’s verdict of the Election Petition Tribunal in Osun State, I stand in solidarity with the good people of Osun State who overwhelmingly voted for the Peoples Democratic Party and gave their mandate to His Excellency Governor Ademola Adeleke, the PDP presidential candidate wrote on Twitter.
What has happened at the tribunal today is a phase in the struggle to liberate Osun State, and I am sure that at the conclusion of the whole process, the people shall be victorious.
I, therefore, call on the people of Osun to continue to have faith in their governor elected into office on the popular ballot.
This light that has shone on Osun shall never go dim.
The United Kingdom has revealed some of its reasons for wanting to recruit teachers from Nigeria and eight other countries.
Saturday PUNCH reported that the UK had listed Nigeria among the list of countries where teachers could apply to teach in the UK.
Some of the other countries are Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
The applicants do not even necessarily require initial teaching qualifications as the country offers a training programme for potential migrants.
UK teachers’ recruitment: NUT hails members’ quality
In the data for the remunerations, the UK noted, “All qualified teachers will have a starting salary of at least £28,000. This will be higher for teachers working in London. Your school will have their own pay scales for qualified teachers. Pay increases will always be linked to performance, not length of service, and will be reviewed every year.”
Commenting on the development, a professor of Education at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Alabi Thomas, said Nigerian teachers were trained and qualified for opportunities that come their way.
He said, “The only challenge is the poor way in which the government is handling that sector. You see governors who owe salaries of teachers for months. Some don’t get promoted despite putting up years of quality service. This should also be an eye-opener for the government.”
The federal government says Nigeria has more than enough fuel to meet the demands and daily consumption of the populace.
It disclosed that the country has fuel of over 1.6 billion litres of sufficiency
The federal government, however, blamed cross-border smugglers for the perennial nationwide fuel scarcity.
It made this known in a statement released on Friday by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NMDPRA Corporation Communications department.
“The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA wishes to reassure all Nigerians that there is a PMS sufficiency of over 1.6 billion litres as of 26th January 2023, both on land and marine.
“The current distribution hitch is heightened by activities of cross-border smugglers, who divert PMS meant for the Nigerian market to neighboring countries where PMS prices are significantly higher than Nigeria’s regulated price. We are engaging and collaborating with Nigeria Customs Services to address this issue”, the statement contained.
To solve the lingering fuel scarcity, the Commission said it would apply modest adjustments in the cost of product transportation to cater to the impact of high AGO prices on transporters while making special diesel provisions to marketers at a reduced price.
It added that it would ensure the automation of products sales interface, the Emplacement of a monitoring system in collaboration with government security agencies for distribution to retail outlets, extended operating hours at the loading and depots and some selected filling stations; rehabilitation of critical fuel distribution road network through the federal government’s tax credit scheme by the NNPCL; regular stakeholders’ engagement, among others.
Rapper and singer, Eedris Abdulkareem, has said that even before his wife, Yetunde, donated a kidney for him, he had always known that she could do anything for him.
Speaking against the backdrop of the new song titled, ‘Thank You’, which he released to appreciate her, Eedris told Saturday Beats, “I had always known that she could do anything for me; just like she knows that I can do anything for her. It has always been that way with us.”
He however stated that this was not the first song he was dedicating to his wife. He said, “There are a lot of ways I have been showing my jewel of inestimable value my unalloyed appreciation for what she has done for me, and I will never get tired of doing that. She is the most awesome person alive. She is actually my Siamese twin and our bond is unbreakable.
“Making a special song for her is one of those things I am doing to thank her, though this is not the first song I have dedicated to her ‘royal loveliness’.”
Urging people to marry for love and not for other reasons, the ‘Mr Lecturer’ singer said, “While coming up in the industry as a young guy, I had the option of marrying for more money and high society connections. But, I refused to be a gold digger and clout chaser, and instead diligently worked and prayed for my own soul mate. The day I saw her, I knew immediately that I had found my missing rib. My advice to young people out there is that they should marry for love; not any other thing.”
The singer added that he had already recorded some songs since he got back from the hospital, but decided to release the new track first to honour his wife.
He also stated that ‘eternally grateful’ to everybody who showed him love during his sickness.
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue a Certificate of Return to Gboyega Oyetola.
Naija News reports that Adeleke made the request following a judgement by the election tribunal.
Recall that the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal chaired had on Friday sacked the Osun Governor.
The ruling was given by a three-men panel led by Justice Tertse Kume.
The majority judgement of two judges against one ordered that the Certificate of Return should be withdrawn from Adeleke and issued to Adegboyega Oyetola.
The majority judgement which was read by the Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume said Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314, 921 against Adeleke’s 290, 266.
But in a letter to the electoral umpire Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Adeleke urged INEC not to issue the certificate of return to Oyetola pending the outcome of his appeal.
The letter partly signed by Hashim Abioye, lawyer to Adeleke, read: “As Solicitors to the 2nd Respondent, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, we humbly write to notify you that consequent upon the dissatisfaction of the 2nd Respondent by the najority decision of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered on January 27, 2023, the 2nd Respondent has applied for a certified true copy of the judgement to enable him pursue his appeal against the said judgement.
“In the light of the foregoing, we humbly ask you to apply the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, by not issuing any certificate (of) return to the 1st petitioner in the petition pending the outcome of the appeal which we are confident will be favourable to our client.”
The NewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that ‘Shanty Town’, exposes the lives of sex workers who work for a cruel handler named Scar.
According to Ini Edo who played the role of ‘Inem’, Shanty Town is a story about crime and prostitution and one cannot tell such a story without displaying nudity.
The actress made her point clear during an interview where she hinted at why some private body parts were flashed in the film.
She added that going naked was not aimed at debasing anyone rather it was in a bid to make the movie look so real.
The veteran movie star also berated the excessive emphasis placed on a woman’s body while urging people to begin to see the feminine body as a mere creation of God without weird reasonings attached.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that Ini Edo began her film career in 2000, and has featured in more than 100 movies since her debut.
In 2013, Ini Edo was a judge for the Miss Black Africa UK Pageant. In 2014, she was appointed by the United Nations as a United Nations Habitat Youth Envoy.
Her acting career started in 2000 with her debut in Thick Madam. Ini Edo was discovered by a producer at the audition she attended.
Her breakthrough came in 2004 when she acted in World Apart. She has appeared in over 100 films. She earned a “Best Lead Actress” nomination at the 11th Africa Movie Academy Awards for her performance in the movie “While you slept”.
Ini Edo, however, in 2017, made it clear that only hardwork, delight and dedication can get one to the top in the Nollywood industry as there are many distractions.
Yeni Kuti, the singer and dancer, says infidelity in marriage is not a “deal breaker” for her.
Speaking on Your View, a programme on Television Continental (TVC), Yeni said she can only leave her marriage “if I find out that my partner is sleeping with another man.”
Recounting her mother’s experience while married to Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat icon, Yeni said her mum was not happy in the union yet she didn’t leave him.
She added that she would rather leave her marriage than cheat on her husband.
“For me, cheating is not a deal breaker and I always say it here. My father had 27 wives, my mother didn’t go,” she said.
“I’m not saying she was happy but she didn’t leave.
“It is not that my man will cheat and I will say I am going to cheat my own. If it comes to that, let me be going.
“So it’s very difficult for me. Everybody has their own deal breaker.
“My own deal breaker is if I find out that my own partner is sleeping with another man. That’s my deal breaker. They won’t even beg me. I will run. It is cheating but cheating get cheating.
“If you are cheating with a woman I can… But if you are cheating with a man, that one na deal breaker.”
Yeni is in a relationship with Theo Lawson.
In 2017, the TV host said she would not endure what her mother went through with Fela.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Daura returned all thanks to God for safety in his life journey over many years, highlighting the years of battle during the Nigerian Civil War and some personal challenges as testimonies of divine protection and guidance.
President Buhari, who visited the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk, after commissioning two roads, said the destiny of man, country and the world remains in the hands of God.
The President concluded the two-day commissioning of projects with the Musawa General Hospital, Government Day Secondary School, Musawa, Gora-Makauraci-Malamawa road and Sandamu-Baure-Babban Mutum road, Gurjiya -Sandamu-Karkarku roads in Daura.
“This opportunity to serve the nation comes from God. All over the world, Nigeria is known for its diversity, with different religions and cultures.
“We are also known because we have a huge population of millions of people. For the President of Nigeria, at this time, to come from Daura is the grace and mercy of God,” he said.
President Buhari said that he secured his first job early after school to manage a cooperative in Daura, but had to escape and join the army when there was pressure that he should get married.
“I told Governor Aminu Bello Masari the story of how I left Daura to join the army. That was how God planned it. We make choices in life, but eventually destiny is before God.
“I was at the war front during the civil war, and saw how many died. Some fell right beside me. God kept me.
“Many bridges were blown just before we arrived at some places, and after we crossed. I arrived at some places to see bodies of my own colleagues that we were fighting together. I am alive today only by God’s grace,” the President added.
President Buhari noted that the Daura Emirate and community gained international recognition by divine purpose, not man’s efforts.
The President assured the Emirate that he would return and settle down in Daura, after handing over on May 29, 2023.
“The Emir has spoken extensively and I don’t have much to add. I have three of my classmates that are here today in the Emirate Council.
“I also hear of how the Emir has been giving recognitions and titles to my staff and family members. I am grateful for all the support,” he stated.
The Emir of Daura noted that the survival of the President when his car was bombed in 2014 was a divine act, which happened shortly before he won elections in 2015.
“The visit of the President is historic. He was invited by the governor to inspect and commission development projects.
“The Governor has performed exceedingly well, beyond the projects that had been spotlighted. Close to seven years, he has been working for the people and he has made a big impact.
“Governor Masari is not a thief. The governor has done his best with available resources. He has showcased his record of service by inviting the President to witness progress in the state.
“The President has seen a lot in two days, but he has not seen all. We know the good works of the governor and really commend him,” Faruk said.
The Emir thanked the President for the federal sited projects in the state. He also extolled the governor for creating an enabling environment for many to thrive.
“As a state, Katsina benefitted a lot from your position, Mr. President, and the Daura community remains grateful for all. For a long time, we will be talking about the blessings of God in our domain,” he added.