Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s order to dispense redesigned naira notes, some banks have been caught deliberately preventing the public from receiving new naira notes at the automated teller machines (ATMs).
While some bank workers simply refused to load available cash in the ATMs, others loaded the ATMs but kept the notes wrapped up.
The Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in a statement on Friday said, “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.
“When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30 pm to ensure compliance, and demanded explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, it was informed by the branch’s Head of Operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash.
“However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash around 11:58 am and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.”
In Oshogbo, Osun State, compliance officials found that a First City Monument Bank branch deliberately kept cash wrapped up inside their ATMs to prevent the machines from dispensing.
“The 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,” ICPC stated on Friday.
“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.”
The same monitoring team arrested seven Point of Sale (POS) operators and a security guard in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash. According to their findings, the POS operatives got the cash from filling stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers and resell them.