Following complaints from Nigerians over the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes in lieu of the redesigning of N1000, N500 and N200 denominations that are scantly in circulation, the National Assembly has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to shift the deadline to July 31.
Bank customers across the country have been lamenting the unavailability of the new notes and the brevity of time for them to return the old notes to their banks.
In a bid to give citizens more time to return the old notes with them to banks and for more circulation of the new naira currency, the nation’s legislature directed the apex bank to move the deadline by six months.
Making the appeal on Tuesday during plenary, the Senate re-echoed its December appeal to CBN for the extension of the deadline, saying the scarcity of the new notes made the deadline extension inevitable.
One of the lawmakers, Senator Sadiq Umar, representing Kwara North Senatorial District under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), moved a motion on the floor of the Red Chamber and demanded an extension to July 31.
Umar’s motion was corroborated by most of his colleagues.
This development, however, forced the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to put the prayers in motion to vote and the lawmakers voted in support of the extension of the deadline from January 31 to July 31.
It could be recalled that the upper chamber had in December asked the apex bank to shift the deadline to June 30.
Similarly, the House of Representatives, also on Tuesday, while lamenting the scarcity of the new notes, sought the extension of the deadline by six months.
The lower chamber has invited the nation’s commercial banks to explain the reason behind the difficulty in making the redesigned notes available to members of the public.
According to the house, the Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the banks, under the umbrella of the Bankers’ Committee, are to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Wednesday, January 25.
But, the CBN is adamant and maintained that January 31 deadline is sacrosanct.
The governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele made this known after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said enough time had been given to Nigerians to change their old naira notes for new ones, saying that spate of kidnapping and ransom-taking had decreased since the three banknotes were redesigned.
Meanwhile, a check by Investors King at some banks on Tuesday revealed that while some had loaded their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the new notes, many others are yet to comply with the directive given by CBN.
At a branch of the Access Bank located at Post office area of Osogbo, Osun State, customers thronged the machines to withdraw cash.
Some of the customers who withdrew from the ATMs got new notes while others got N100 notes.
However, customers who were inside the banking hall were rushing to beat time and deposit their old notes before the deadline.
An old man who visited the bank’s counter begged the cashier for new notes but he was directed to the ATM outside the banking hall for new notes.
Kuda Bank Says Customer Deposits Are Safe Despite Mobile App Issues
The fintech company assured that the application glitches will soon be fixed and customers will gain access to their money again.
Kuda Bank, a leading digital microfinance bank, has said there is no cause for alarm as their customers’ money is safe despite the mobile application issues.
The fintech company operating in Nigeria further assured that the application glitches will soon be fixed and customers will gain access to their money again.
Investors King gathered that currently, users of Kuda are having difficulties in accessing the bank app. Some have bitterly complained that their account balance reads zero despite having money in the account.
The Kuda bank management has, however, responded to the complaints by its customers through its official Twitter handle.
The digital bank admitted that the application was having issues and apologised to its customers for their inability to access their money or use the application adequately.
It stated that the company is aware of the mobile app malfunctioning, as well as the zero account balance error.
According to its statement, work is ongoing to rectify the issue and when properly completed, customers will be alerted. It stressed that their money has not been tampered with and the glitch will soon be resolved.
The company’s response on its Twitter handle, @joinkuda reads, “We are sorry that you still haven’t been able to use your Kuda app.
“We are working with our cloud services provider to sort out the downtime, and we will let you know when it’s been fixed. Your money remains safe and you will be able to access it as soon as services are restored.
“We know that the ₦0.00 balance error reported by several people is worrying but we assure you that it’s just what the app is displaying because of the downtime, not the amount of money you actually have. We will keep sharing updates as we make progress.”
Nigerians Lament Long Queues at ATMs, Cash Withdrawal Limits
Since last week, the long queues at banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have increased as Nigerians lament scarcity of the redesigned naira notes.
Despite the announcement of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the extension of the deadline for the acceptance of old notes from January 31, 2023 to February 10, 2023, the crowd has persisted at Banks and their ATM galleries.
Investors King gathered that there is a gross scarcity of the new naira notes in the Southwest states as seen in the data obtained in Lagos, Ogun and Osun by its sources.
Lagosians expressed displeasure over the non-availability of funds at the ATMs and Point of Sale, POS agents which have caused them to be stranded even though they have loaded bank accounts.
They stated that both the new and old notes are no longer dispensed at the ATMs. The people of Ogun have similar experiences as they could not make withdrawals due to the lack of funds in the machines.
Meanwhile, some banks were said to be giving their customers N50 and N100 notes at the counter with a daily limit of N20,000 cash.
Investors King observed that this did not go down well with the people who had spent several hours on the queue but went home with not more than N20,000.
According to a Zenith Bank user in Akute, Ogun state, N5000 was the pegged daily withdrawal limit over the counter without an assurance of receiving it after the frustrating queue.
“We went to Zenith bank at Akute but could not get any money. We went inside the bank and we were told they could only pay us a maximum of N5,000 in N50 notes but the notes were torn and dirty.
“Even to collect the N5000, we queued for hours and eventually we were not paid. We went to the bank’s ATM and were given numbers, after staying in the queue, they later said there was no money. We can’t get new notes and we still can’t get old notes. We are tired and frustrated,” he lamented.
In Osogbo, Osun State capital, ATMs were filled with large numbers of people from the early hours of the day, as early as 3am to 4am. Number tags were issued as users arrived before the machines started dispensing money by 8:30am.
Though the machines dispensed new naira notes, there are withdrawal limits for various banks while some didn’t dispense for other bank users.
At Zenith Bank, Aregbe area in Osogbo, the withdrawal limit is N20,000 for their customers while other bank users can only withdraw N1000 at once for five times which makes it N5000. This angered several residents as they grudgingly withdrew their money with N35 bank charge on each N1000 withdrawal.
Meanwhile, at GT Bank Ogo oluwa area in Osogbo, their ATMs did not accept nor dispense for other bank users. Only their customers returned home with smiles, though not without long hours under the scorching sun.
Nigerians have questioned why the scarcity of new naira notes persist in the midst of fuel scarcity worsening the hardship in the country.
Jaiz Bank Reports N5.946 Billion Profit in 2022 Financial Year
Nigeria’s leading digital bank, Jaiz Bank Plc has announced a 45.58% increase in profit after tax to N5.946 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2022.
In the unaudited financial statement obtained by Investors King, the lender’s income from financing contracts grew to N21.589 billion in 2022, a 41.98% increase when compared to N15.205 billion recorded in 2021 financial year.
Income from investment activities inched higer from N8.972 billion filed in the corresponding period to N9.862 billion, representing a 9.92% growth. Therefore, gross income stood at N31.450 billion in the period under review.
Bank’s share as equity investor improved by 34.73% to N27.562 billion from N20.457 billion. Net spread after provision also expanded to N20.656 billion.
The bank’s total income appreciated by 31.73% to a combined N22.635 billion in the period under review. As expected, total expenses rose by 24.63% to N15.965 billion from N12.809 billion in 2021.
Profit before tax increased to N6.669 billion while the bank paid income tax of N583.595 million. The bank declared N5.946 billion profit after tax.
In September 2022, the Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Sirajo Salisu, who commented on the bank’s performance, said the “bank remained committed to providing value-creating ethical banking services to its growing customer base. He assured that the Bank is positioned to continue its remarkable earnings streak for the remainder of the year, by leveraging on technology and extending its touch points across the country.”
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