Some commercial banks in Benin, Edo State reopened for business on Monday, after shutting down on February 16, following sporadic attacks on some facilities in the city.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some banks came under violent attacks on February 15 by some customers, who were enraged by their inability to make withdrawals.
The angry customers destroyed some bank buildings, Automated Teller Machines and some vehicles belonging to bank officials.
It was reported that four persons lost their lives during the protest, which lasted for several hours across some major roads in the capital city.
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Consequently, the banks halted their services to avert further attacks and the destruction of their facilities.
Residents were however relieved to discover that some of the banks around Sapele Road, Mission Road and Aduwawa Axis of Benin reopened for services on Monday.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored the situation in the city, reports that there were long queues of customers within and around the bank premises.
While many who got access to the banking hall were seen waiting to be paid over the counter, others clustered at the entrance gates and ATM points.
Some of the customers, who spoke on the development, said they were happy that some of the banks had reopened after the unrest.
Mrs Chioma Odiase said: “We learnt that one or two banks opened on Friday and some opened today (Monday).
“We are happy that the sufferings we go through to get cash for our daily needs would soon ease with the reopening of the banks.”
The Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Edo/Delta branch, Dr Okwara Udensi, spoke on the harsh effect of the demonetisation policy on businesses.
Udensi urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to supply more old N200 notes to banks.
He said: “The non-availability of cash in various bank branches is where the problem lies.
“The CBN should try as much as it can to push the cash to the banks.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the old N200 note is now acceptable so CBN should bring it back into circulation to augment the new notes already printed.” (NAN)
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