Sterling Bank Plc on Sunday explained circumstances surrounding the caches of N200 notes stashed away in the vault of its Ado-Ekiti branch, while its Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were allegedly bereft of cash.
An official of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was said to have visited the Ado-Ekiti branch of the bank on January 23, 2023 and found that the vault contained N6,000,000 in N200 denominations, whereas the ATMs were devoid of cash.
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Explaining “the facts”, Ademola Adesina of the Public Relations and News Management unit of the bank, said in a statement that the naira notes referenced were received prior to the re-configuration of the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to dispense the N200 denomination notes.
“On January 23, 2023, a regulatory official visited our branch in AdoEkiti and the vault contained N 6,000,000 in N200 denominations. During the visit, the official observed that we had run out of N1,000 and N500 notes on that day and were unable to load the N200 as the ATMs had not yet been configured to dispense N200 notes,” Adesina explained.
“At the time of the visit, the subsisting instruction was that the newly designed notes were not to be dispensed over the counter. All our ATMs have been dispensing the available quantities of the N1000 and N500 denominations of the newly designed currency as received since the commencement of the policy. We have also successfully reconfigured our ATMs nationwide to dispense N200 notes.2
Adesina further assured that all denominations can now be withdrawn from the branch’s ATMs and over the counter in line with the regulatory pronouncement of February 2, 2023.
“We hereby confidently assure the public that the branch was not hoarding any funds and that Sterling remains at the forefront of ensuring that this exercise is a resounding success. Together, we will all overcome this inconvenience and come out stronger.”
The naira hoarding allegation against Sterling Bank came on the back of scarcity of naira notes in banks and their ATMs as the CBN-sanctioned currency reissue suffers implementation setbacks. It has been tales of woes across the country as the CBN deadline for return of old notes expired on January 31 with Nigerians not being able to access the new notes, forcing the CBN to extend it by 10 days.
There are indications that the apex bank might further extend the use of old notes as nationwide hardship continues.
Akinshola Akintelure is a Content Writer, a tech savvy and Social Media Manager.