By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has apportioned blames on commercial banks for withholding the redesigned Naira notes in their vaults without necessarily disbursing the money to their agents for onward withdrawal by customers.
The apex bank’s Deputy Director Currency Operations, Mrs. Elizabeth Amos expressed this in Bauchi, when she led monitoring team to the state that comprised officials of the CBN, EFCC and ICPC to ascertain the level of disbursement under the bank’s ongoing swap exercise.
“In some commercial banks, we have seen over 80 to 90 per cent of what was disbursed to the commercial banks still in their vaults”, the CBN deputy director told the press in Bauchi on Wednesday.
She said, “What we do is to look at the allocations given to the commercial banks, trace it to their books, see how much was loaded into their ATM machines, and how much money they gave to their agents.
“We are looking at the ATM machines, looking at the records of how much each of the ATMs carries, and look at the total amounts withdrawn by individual customers”, Elizabeth further disclosed her team’s mission.
“The team is also to look at the spread sheets in their systems and see if what was loaded was actually what was withdrawn by the customers. If there are areas of discrepancies, we ask questions and seek for clarifications”, she said.
Mrs. Elizabeth Amos however, said that they were able to track much of the money, adding, “But we also have some issues that we will take up with them. We queried them for not giving to their agents the money they were supposed to give.
“These monies are supposed to be given to their agents that are listed and registered with them to carry out this swap, but to our dismay, most of the banks we visited have not been forthcoming in the swap”.
Elizabeth further explained that the visiting monitoring team to Bauchi from Abuja similarly asked the banks to call their agents for collection of the monies for swap with their customers.
The team noted with concern that most of the ATMs it visited were down, until they talked to the banks’ management staff to reactivate them, stressing “They come out with one issue or another which we did not totally agree with.
“So we instruct them to make sure that all their ATMs machines are full to capacity, and make sure that at any given time, there is any issue, they address it immediately”, Elizabeth concluded.