Bank customers suffer cash crunch after elections


Barely four days after the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections, bank customers on Wednesday are still being confronted with cash crunch.

The cash crunch has continued for over three months now, without any respite on the horizon.

It was gathered that some banks in Ogun and Lagos States on Tuesday showed that the sufferings of bank customers are yet to abate, as bank officials told them that they have no cash to dispense over the counter, even as their ATMs are equally empty.

Hordes of customers besieged banks such as Zenith, Access, UBA, Wema, First Bank among others, but many of them left disappointed as they could not access cash either at the ATM points or withdraw over the counter.

One of them, Sarah Banjoko, said that she was able to access N20,000 last week at the ATM of Wema Bank at Sango-Ota, but on Tuesday she could not access any cash either at the ATM point or the counter.

She added, “Today(Tuesday) is quite tough, no one could access cash either at the ATM point or over the counter. The tellers told us there was no cash in the bank.”

A customer of GTCO, who gave her name as Toyosi, also spoke that she had been coming for the past two days, and either she hears there is no cash from the security men, or it has been exhausted before it gets to her turn, as she added that she meets a long queue at the ATM. “If only it’s dispensing, it will be N5,000 but I’m yet to get any, as I am,” she said.

Another customer who simply identified himself as Thomas also lamented that he could not access cash but could only do transfer from his account.

He further added that “It is not everything one can buy through transfer or POS machine, imagine you want to buy vegetables, watermelon and tomatoes.”

Many Nigerians had hoped that with the conclusion of the 2023 general elections on Saturday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should begin to lose its grip on cash, by instructing banks to begin to dispense cash to their customers, as it was believed among others that cash crunch would stop vote buying.

However, the reality on ground points to the direction that the suffering of bank customers are far from over.

Some bank customers had died waiting on queue for the elusive cash, or while trekking to look for it over the months.

Both the old and redesigned naira N200, N500 and N1000 notes have been beyond the reach of these bank customers.

Some POS operators who are still in business have continued to laugh to the banks with their exorbitant charges on withdrawals, since customers are now at their mercy.