Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is wicked for subjecting poor Nigerians to long hours in ATM queues.
The governor, who went round ATM points in Maiduguri, the state capital, to assess the naira scarcity situation, described the 10-day extension of the naira swap deadline as useless.
“The CBN is wicked enough that it is punishing the poor and most-vulnerable of the people by subjecting them to long hours of queues at ATM machines which do not have the cash to dispense,” he said.
“Extension is not our problem, you extend the deadline without the availability of notes, so the extension is nothing without cash availability.
“Therefore, we are pleading to the President of Nigeria, I know his heart is with the masses, let him kindly direct the CBN to ensure the availability of the notes. Right now in Borno State, I have visited more than ten ATMs and there’s no cash. Look at these people, none of them has eaten since yesterday.”
He said while the state government released N5 billion as workers salaries for January, many of them could not meet their financial needs because the ATMs do not have cash.
The governor also decried that many business activities in the state had collapsed due to lack of cash in circulation.
“Commercial activities have been completely, paralyzed leaving the poor and vulnerable to suffer. I sympathize with the locals for the shortage of the new notes” he said.