Customers in Ondo State are expressing dissatisfaction as banks in the region have significantly decreased withdrawal limits, hindering their ability to access funds for transactions during the festive season.
An investigation conducted by LEADERSHIP Weekend unveiled that numerous customers faced difficulties withdrawing desired amounts over the counter due to insufficient cash reserves within the banks.
During a visit to several banks in Akure, the state capital, on a Friday, customers shared their experiences with our correspondent, revealing that bank officials were implementing a system where withdrawal amounts were curtailed based on the customer’s intended transaction size.
According to the affected customers, they were advised by bank officials to utilize alternative channels for their transactions, as the banks grappled with a shortage of physical cash.
The investigation further noted that many banks were operating with limited cash resources, allowing customers access to only nominal amounts ranging from N5,000 to a maximum of N20,000.
Additionally, long queues were observed at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in some banks, further complicating the situation for customers seeking additional cash.
This scarcity of funds has adversely impacted Point-of-sale businesses, with operators unable to withdraw sufficient cash from banks and ATMs to effectively run their operations.
Some customers pointed out that the problem had been persisting since the previous week. Mrs. Toyin Alade shared her experience, stating, “I came to Access Bank and First Bank branches in Alagbaka to collect N200,000, but I could not do so. Access Bank officials said they could only give me N100,000. The First Bank officers also claimed they could give me only N100,000. The two banks claimed there wasn’t enough cash and subsequently advised me to use alternative channels to do my remaining transactions.”
An anonymous source from one of the banks in Akure confirmed the cash shortage, attributing it to the insufficient cash supply from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The source mentioned, “Currently, we are at the end of the year. The demand is huge, and we have to balance it. The CBN hasn’t been giving us enough cash in recent times, especially since the surge in demand started some weeks ago.”
Oliwatoyin, a business operator, lamented the impact of the cash shortage, stating, “For the past few days now, I could not attend to a customer who wanted to withdraw over N25,000 at once. This was because I couldn’t receive much cash from my banks. I was forced to be rationing the little cash I had with me.”