The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a bank’s operations manager in Abuja for hoarding N29m worth of new naira notes.
Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), fixed February 10 as the deadline for swapping the old naira notes with the new ones. But there is a scarcity of banknotes, a development that led to the intervention of security agencies.
The EFCC, which is one of the agencies, said it arrested the unnamed bank staff in one of its operations.
“An Operations Manager of a leading Commercial bank in Abuja Central Area was on Monday, February 6, 2023, arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC for refusing to load the Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, of the bank despite having N29 million of the redesigned Naira notes in the branch’s vaults,” the agency said in a Monday statement.
“Before he was whisked away for further questioning, the operatives ordered the loading of all the ATMs and the payment of the stipulated amount across the counter to the delight of the distraught customers who had spent hours in queues without getting the new notes.
“This discovery, which indicates sabotage of the government’s monetary policy by some banks, was made by the EFCC in continuation of the ongoing surveillance and visit to banks across the country to access their vaults and verify whether they were deliberately refusing to dispense the redesigned Naira notes. More than five bank branches were covered today by the operatives in Abuja. Similar exercises are ongoing in Zonal Commands across the country.”
The EFCC assured that it will continue the operation across the nation “until normalcy is restored to the banking system.
“Nigerians finding it difficult to access their funds at any bank and suspect foul play should contact the Commission for immediate intervention.”