Naira Scarcity: Zenith Bank Shuts Branches Over Attacks On Staff

Zenith Bank has closed some of its branches in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some states in the country due to alleged attacks on its staff and network. A correspondent who monitored some of the bank’s branches in the FCT and environs and other states on Tuesday, observed that they were under lock.

At Zenith Bank, the Check-Point branch along Nyanya Mararaba road, both the gate and the ATM gallery of the bank were locked, and no customers were seen in the vicinity. An official of the bank, who preferred anonymity, said some of the bank’s branches were also closed due to a lack of the new naira notes.

The official said many branches across the country were attacked by customers who could not withdraw the new notes from their accounts. Some video clips on social media showed how the bank staff escaped from the attacked branches by scaling fences to escape mob attacks from customers. Meanwhile, some bank customers have taken to social media to lament their ordeal.

A customer identified as @Ellacious_berry said on Twitter that Zenith Bank was fully contributing to the suffering of the masses. “Three days now, I cannot assess the mobile app. If the mobile app mistakenly opens, it won’t transfer, and their ATM card is not paying either. I am sure closing my account with @ZenithBank,’’ she said.

Another customer, identified as @ambi 255 on Twitter, said Zenith Bank Plc had failed woefully. “I think I will be closing my account with them,’’ he said. A customer identified as @IamSixFeetTall on Twitter said, “one of the managers in my office just closed his zenith account this morning.’’

Some branches of the bank in Enugu were working, but the staffs were not dressed in any of the bank’s outfits to avoid easy identification. Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) had called for calm and understanding among bank customers.

A statement by Akin Morakinyo, the registrar, CIBN, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and operators (the banks) were working assiduously to bring the situation under control.

Austine Ikeru
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