After what looks like a short period of respite, the biting scarcity of Naira seems to have resurfaced in Abuja.
Commercial banks in Abuja could not pay out the Naira to thousands of depositors who thronged the banks on Wednesday.
Our correspondents who monitored the operations of the banks discovered that the banks were not paying customers over the counter.
Also the Automatic Teller Machines were not paying customers many of who were seen stranded outside the banks.
Curiously, banks such as First Bank, UBA, FCMB, GTB, Fidelity Banks and others could not pay Naira notes to their customers.
This follows a day after the two Labour Centers in the country, the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress extended an earlier ultimatum to the Central Bank of Nigeria to end the biting cash crunch, by two weeks.
Some of the branch managers explained that the banks attended to the customers through out the weekend and exhausted all they got from the CBN.
The source said that the CBN had not supplied the banks with Naira notes since weekend. However, the source was optimistic that the CBN might release more funds on Thursday.
The NLC had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Central Bank of Nigerian to immediately release Naira notes to Nigerians of face a nationwide industrial action in seven days on March 14, 2023.
The President of the NLC issued another directive on March 22 to workers to carry out nationwide protest at the branches of CBN if the apex bank failed to comply with the March 3, ruling of the Supreme Court on the Naira redesign policy.
Shortly before the expiration of the ultimatum on March 29, the CBN hurriedly directed commercial banks to work on Saturdays and Sundays to make the currency available to the groaning Nigerian populace.
On Monday and Tuesday, the banks paid out the old Naira notes to their customers across Nigeria thereby making the Labour centers to extend the ultimatum by two weeks.
The NLC President, who spoke after a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and the Governor of CBN, Emefiele, on Tuesday, disclosed that the decision to extend the ultimatum was reached after consultations with affiliate members of both unions and their National Executive Councils.
Ajaero, noted, after reviewing the reports from state branches of the two unions observed that there had been partial compliance by the CBN with a Supreme Court judgement to make cash available in banks.
“We agreed that we have to monitor this compliance for the next two weeks to establish whether it is sustainable.
“CBN rushed to move money to commercial banks, but some of the banks are getting empty again. Queues are returning to some of them.
“It will be very naive of the NLC to hurriedly call off the action. We would want to loosen up for another two weeks, however.
“The NLC and TUC have decided to allow March 29 to pass without any picketing, but to watch for the next two weeks.
Credit: THE NETWORK.