Zenith Bank Resumes Skeletal Services After Initial Shutdown Amid Naira Scarcity, Attacks By Customers

Some branches of the bank were shut down over a lack of new naira notes, network issues and alleged attacks. Zenith Bank has commenced skeletal services in some of its branches that were closed on Tuesday in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja. Sahara Reporters reported on Tuesday how Nigerians using Zenith Bank took to different social media platforms to lament the poor online services experienced as the scarcity of the newly redesigned notes bit harder.

It also reported that branches of the bank across the country were closed to customers. Some branches of the bank were shut down over a lack of new naira notes, network issues and alleged attacks. Many customers of the bank reported visiting the bank’s branches only to find the gates locked.

“Due to insecurity reasons, we did not open today,” a bank official told one of our correspondents on Tuesday. Since the advent of smartphones, a lot of Nigerians have made mobile app banking their preferred online digital platform for making financial transactions.

Some Zenith Bank customers also took to Twitter to call out the financial institution. On Monday, a video appeared online, purportedly of staff members of Zenith Bank scaling the fence to escape from the bank premises following pressure from customers. The members of staff had hurdled close to a ladder that had been placed against the wall.

In the video, men and women are seen climbing the ladder as they scaled the fence in their corporate outfits. One of the bankers, believed to be a senior official, could be seen making inquiries on the phone about the location of security personnel they had called to protect them from the mob attack.

However, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), which monitored branches of the bank in Abuja on Wednesday, only the ATM galleries were operational in some of the branches that were abruptly shut down. NAN also reported that the bank’s branch along Checkpoint, Nyanya-Mararaba Road, which was also abruptly closed on Tuesday, was offering skeletal services.

Customers who thronged the ATM gallery were not allowed access to the banking hall as they were advised to use other alternative branches of the bank, especially the Asokoro branch.

The customers at the ATM gallery of the bank were also being paid with the new naira notes. Some of them expressed disappointment with the services of the bank.

“I am not happy with the development in this bank. Their network is too poor and you cannot do any transactions with it. “For the past three days, I have been trying to send money to someone. I came here yesterday, thinking I could gain access to the banking hall, but I met everywhere locked.

“Today again, they said we cannot enter the banking hall. I am now left with this crowd to use the ATM. I don’t know if I can wait for all this,” Mrs Ada Afor, a customer at the ATM gallery, said.

Another customer, Mr Chris Idoko, appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ease the process of accessing the new naira notes. “I heard that the bank shut down operations yesterday, and that is why I am here to move the little money I have with them. I don’t want stories,” he said.

Austine Ikeru
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