The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has nabbed a couple of bank officials for receiving new redesigned bank notes and not disbursing same to customers, amid a cash crunch in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.
The arrests arrive as President Buhari announced that selfish bankers are hell bent on frustrating the new cash roll-out and his administration’s cashless policy.
In a series of tweets, the ICPC announced that; “ICPC Compliance Team in Osogbo has busted an FCMB in Osogbo, Osun State where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed. The Team therefore directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly.
“However, when a follow-up visit was undertaken the following day to ascertain the level of compliance, the Team discovered that one of the ATMs was still loaded with the wrappers un-removed.
“The Operation Manager of the Bank was arrested and taken in for questioning.”
ICPC Compliance Team in Oshogbo has busted an FCMB in Osogbo, Osun State where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed. The Team therefore directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly. pic.twitter.com/5i3bI0sYMW
— ICPC Nigeria (@icpcnigeria) February 3, 2023
The anti-corruption agency also shared that; “ICPC has arrested an official of one of the commercial banks for alleged sabotage.
“The bank official, who is the Branch Service Head of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Deidei Branch, Abuja, was taken into custody for her deliberate refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) even when the cash was available, and people were queuing at the ATMs.”
The police has also announced that it will henceforth arrest persons trading in the new Naira notes.
President Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extended the deadline for the mopping up of old Naira notes by a further 10 days.
However, the new notes have been hard to come by, with governors blaming CBN Governor Emefiele for sabotage and the CBN Governor pointing accusing fingers at the banks.
Nigerians have formed queues in all banks across the country as they await badly needed cash for grocery and staple foods shopping. Fights have broken out as well outside banking halls as tempers flare.
The electronic payments components of banks have also crashed, amid high traffic; and transfers/online shopping have ceased working as well.
There have been insinuations that banks have been selling the new notes to highest bidders and members of a corrupt political class, even as the generality of the populace groan of scarcity of the new bank notes.