Nigeria’s naira shortage: Banks attacked in Warri and Benin City
As citizens struggle to obtain new currencies, irate rallies have erupted in numerous Nigerian villages and cities.
Since there were not enough of the freshly created naira notes to go around, frustration has been growing.
Two commercial banks were reportedly set on fire by some customers in the southern Nigerian cities of Warri and Benin City.
Nigerians have seen lengthy lines at the cash registers, with some camping outside banks in an effort to get money early.
People claim they have been compelled to miss meals and work while short on cash to cover the cost of their meals or transportation to work.
During the demonstrators’ cash machine looting, some banks were smashed into. Customers tried to break into the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) offices in Benin City, but security guards shot tear gas at them.
The CBN claimed that the redesign of the higher denomination notes—200, 500, and 1,000 naira—was done to replace the unclean money already in use, combat inflation, stop counterfeiting, and advance a cashless world.
Last October, the move was announced to Nigerians, who were urged to deposit any cash they had in savings accounts.
In a nation where cash is still frequently used, however, not enough of the new notes have been printed. Up to 40% of the population is thought to be without access to a bank account.
Crowds angry that they couldn’t withdraw their savings assaulted Central Bank offices and other commercial banks, while protesters in Ibadan blocked roadways. Protesters may be seen venting their emotions in the video that BBC Yoruba has collected and is making the rounds on social media.
President Muhammadu Buhari is being urged to intervene just ten days before the nation’s elections to prevent the ruling All Progressives Congress from losing support.
The Supreme Court overturned the bank’s deadline for the old notes to stop being accepted as legal cash on February 10 as a result of a legal challenge by 10 states.
Just three days before the elections, the case that was scheduled to resume on Wednesday has been postponed until next week.