Sterling Bank has reacted to the allegation that it was hoarding the new naira notes in one of its branches in Ado-Ekiti despite having enough of the new notes to dispense to customers.
Recall that in a widely circulated video, the Deputy Director of the CBN, Oluwole Owoeye, said about N6 million mew notes were found hidden in the Sterling Bank branch located in Ado-Ekiti, with the firm’s Auto Teller Machines (ATM) empty.
He said the bank had been informed of the N1 million penalty.
“I am currently at Sterling Bank, on Bank Road as part of the new naira notes monitoring compliance with the guidelines by CBN. They have N6 million, which they collected from the bank for almost two weeks, they have not disbursed any.
“They said they are yet to configure their ATMs, I do not know why that is and I have brought attention to the penalty clause of N1 million per day, because they have five ATMs here, they have no reason for keeping this money.
“The zonal service manager, Tunde Onipede promised that by 10:00am latest tomorrow (Monday), because I told him by latest 10:00 am I’ll be here and I want to see the machine dispensing this money,” the CBN official said in the video.
Reacting, Ademola Adesina, Public Relations and News Management officer on Sterling Bank, admitted that the said funds were with the bank, but claimed that it was in N200 denominations, and that the ATM machines at that branch had not been configured to dispense N200 notes.
He further stated that “at the time of the visit, the subsisting instruction was that the newly designed notes were not to be dispensed over the counter”.
He said however, that “All denominations can now be withdrawn from our ATMs and over the counter in line with regulatory pronouncement on February 2, 2023.
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) among others in the last one week visited banks to investigate the distribution of the new naira notes allocated from the Central Bank of Nigeria.