The Ogun State Government has assured bankers in the state of adequate protection while promising to continue to engage the Central BANK of Nigeria (CBN) and proffer lasting solutions to the issue of cash shortage.
The Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser to the state government, Dr. Dapo Okubadejo, gave the assurance on Wednesday during a meeting with the Bankers Committee in his Oke Mosan, Abeokuta office.
This was a follow up on the meeting earlier held between the group and the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, where the Governor extracted commitment from the bankers to adequately dispense cash to the public.
Okubadejo, moved with the determination to address the scarcity of the naira notes, said the situation is hampering economic activities in the state and that the government is fully prepared to forestall any destruction of banking facilities.
With an assurance of improved security across all financial outlets, the CEA said the unfortunate incident involving the destruction of some banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) was as a result of frustration caused by the unavailability of cash to the citizenry.
He revealed that the State Governor had earlier held a meeting with the Controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Ogun State, Mr Wahab Oseni.
Abiodun, he added, is concerned about the security of, not just the bankers, but of all lives and property, saying there are frantic efforts at ensuring the safety of every individual in the state.
Okubadejo reiterated that the State would continue to encourage peace and protect lives and property, charging residents of the State to exercise patience as the crisis would soon be a thing of the past, as well as desist from attacking banks and bankers.
Okubadejo, who also noted that the State is always ready to provide adequate security across the State, said the onus lies with the banks to furnish the populace with new naira notes.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria has indicated that it would give money to the various banks, so as a State, we are using this opportunity to appeal to the Bankers’ Committee to ensure that people have access to their funds, for the smooth running of economic activities across the State,” Okubadejo said.
He further highlighted the need for the state to be at the forefront of industrialisation, saying the State Government will continue to engage the CBN in order to deal with the current situation.
In his remarks, the leader of the Bankers’ Forum, Mr. Adeniran Oladele appreciated the State Government for its responsiveness, explaining that the meeting earlier called by the State Government with the CBN had positively reduced the impact of the crisis.
He revealed that the crisis was caused by misinformation which has led to the banks losing revenue as a result of the closure.
He advised on the aggressive sensitisation of the general populace on the availability of the naira notes, saying it will go a long way in reducing public unrest.
“Ogun State is known to be a very peaceful state mainly because of the Governor’s deliberate strategy, not only to engage the youth, but also to be pragmatic, responsive and responsible.”