By Afolabi Oyekunle.
The continue scarcity of new notes and inability of Nigerians in assessing their money from the banks is taking a new dimension as bank customers are now venting their anger on bank workers.
A trending video shows bank staffs in Asaba, Delta state running for their lives through a back channel when aggrieved customers besieged the bank threatening the workers.
On Saturday 4th February 2023 in Ibadan , Oyo state capital, angry people attacked as many as five banks threatening the lives of the workers. This snowballed into riot that spread to many parts of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
In Abeokuta, Ogun state capital , on Wednesday bank workers had to run away for their lives as several banks were besieged by customers and a violent protest in many parts of Abeokuta. As a result the banks did not open for business on Thursday. Also in Sango Otta, Ogun state the banks closed shops to their customers as the workers said their lives were not safe. It was also confirmed that the same scenario happened in parts of Ondo state.
This has made the two unions in the financial sector to respond to the development.
In his remarks, the National president of the Association of Banks Insurance and Financial Institions (ASSIBIFI) Comrade Olusoji Oluwole said the Association is concern about the safety of her members and may be compelled to advise them to stay from work until their safety is guaranteed.
Comrade Oluwole called on security agencies to put security measures around bank premises to protect lives and properties. He assured that bank workers are committed to ensuring they satisfy bank customers to the extent of money made available to them.
ASSIBIFI president said the union condemn any sharp practices or acts inimical to the smooth disbursement of the new naira notes.
Comrade Oluwole appealed to the public to understand the plight of bank workers and desist from continue harassment.
In similar vein, the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE condemned attacks on bank officials while doing their work.
NUBIFIE called for adequate protection for bank workers to safeguard their lives and not expose them to danger.
The Association said any attempt to continue harassing her members, the union will not hesitate to call out the bank workers out to stay off duties nation wide.
A statement signed by NUBIFIE General Secretary Comrade Mohammed Sheik also called on the Central bank of Nigeria to review its cash withdrawal policy which is said is affecting the business of over 200 thousands Point of Sales(POS) business in Nigeria.