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Weekend Banking Excites Edo, Delta, Bayelsa Customers

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Most commercial banks in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa States opened for business at the weekend in compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive.
The Tide source reports that the CBN had on Friday, confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) across the country.
In a statement issued by Dr Isa AbdulMumin, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank also directed all DMBs to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays to meet their customers’ demands.
According to AbdulMumin, a substantial amount of money in various denominations has been received by the banks for onward circulation to their customers.
“The CBN has also directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.
“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs,” he said.
A survey conducted by The Tide’s source in the three states saw customers on queues, with bank officials making efforts to meet their cash needs.
The banks were, however, dispensing the old Naira notes.
The source reports that while the banks were paying over the counter, the Automated Tellers Machines (ATMs) were also dispensing cash simultaneously.
Some of the customers, who spoke to the source pleaded that the banks continue to work at weekends so as to increase the Naira notes in circulation nationwide.
The respondents also appealed for increase in the daily withdrawal limit, saying the approval of between N10, 000 and N30,000 was not sufficient to keep small business operators afloat for now.
In Benin, almost all the banks were open for business.
A customer, Miss Destiny Obeh, said she was able to withdraw N20,000 from Access Bank, as there were only a few customers at the bank.
“I don’t think many people are aware that banks are working today because the queue is very short, unlike during the weekdays.
“But people have started calling their friends and relatives to come to the bank to withdraw cash”.
Another customer, Mr Prince Efosa, said he was happy to have collected N10,000 from Zenith Bank without wasting much time at the bank.
“I usually spend up to three hours waiting to collect money at the bank, but today, I spent less time.
“I am happy that the cash crunch is easing off, the situation was really bad at the market yesterday (Sunday).
“Some Point of Sales (POS) operators at Ikpoba Hill Market charged as high as N4,000 to withdraw N10,000 yesterday, and this was really terrible,” he said.
Mrs Iyobosa Bello, while expressing happiness with the new development, urged the CBN to increase the daily withdrawal limits.
“I like the cashless policy, that is what I use for my cloth business but the network can be really bad sometimes, affecting transactions.
“I went to the market to buy goods two days ago but transfer did not work, I then went to the bank and I was told that I could only withdraw N10,000 which was not enough to pay for the goods I wanted to buy.
“I was unable to buy the items and I went home disappointed.
“So the CBN should make enough cash available and remove the daily withdrawal limits to enable small businesses like mine to grow for now”, she said.
In Warri, Delta, many of the commercial banks opened their doors to customers between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The source reports that most customers were able to withdraw between N10,000 and N40,000.
An official of one of the banks expressed joy at the smooth conduct of the exercise, adding that customers were happy with the development.
“We opened for operations at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday in line with the directive of the CBN. We disbursed the amount requested by the customers and we do not discriminate,’’ the staff said.
Mr Anthony Onajite, a customer, said he was able to withdraw the sum of N50,000 he filled out in his withdrawal slip.
In Asaba, it was, however, different as some banks did not open, though their ATMs were dispensing cash but had long queues.
Some of the customers, who spoke, said the CBN directive had reduced the sufferings caused by the currency swap in the last one month.
According to Mrs Jane Umukoro, I cannot remember the last time I used the ATM until today.
“I am so happy. I decided to give it a trial after closing from the church and within one hour, I was able to withdraw N10,000.’’
“I am happy to an extent because it has been a challenge even getting N2, 000.
“But today with less stress, I have been able to withdraw N10,000,’’ Philip Aka said.
In Yenagoa, the weekend operations helped to reduce the long queues usually being experienced at the banks and ATMs.
Checks at some of the banks within Yenagoa showed that the long queues had disappeared as most of the ATMs dispensed cash while customers also withdrew money across the counter.
Customers were able to withdraw cash ranging from between N15 000 and N30,000.

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Niger Delta

Okrika CTC Boss Empowers 1,000 People … Set To Pay Bursary 

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The Caretaker Committee (CTC) Chairman of Okrika Local Government Area, Hon Princess Ibiene Ogan, says her administration will continue to put the people of Okrika first in all her policies.
According to her, the essence of being appointed into office is to ensure that the people have access to the commonwealth of the LGA, in addition to working with all to promote peace and security.
Hon. Ogan stated this in Okrika during an empowerment programme targeted at 1,000 persons, including indigenes and those doing business in the area.
The CTC boss noted that the empowerment is to help cushion the challenging economic situation in the country, noting that it cuts across all the wards and every strata in the local government.
She disclosed that her committee was also looking in the direction of paying bursaries to Okrika indigenes in higher institutions.
While commending Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his efforts at carrying out various programmes and policies in Okrika, she declared their support and readiness to queue behind him at all times.
In his words of exhortation, the Anglican Bishop of Okrika Diocese, Rt. Rev. Enoch Atuboyedia, admonished the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the empowerment programme aimed at alleviating suffering amongst the people.
He particularly charged them not to squander the money on wasteful ventures that would not add meaning to their lives.
President of Wakirike Students Union, Benneth Wisdom, while praising the Caretaker Committee boss, assured her of the students’ support.
He expressed gratitude to the CTC boss for promising to look into bursary payment for students of Okrika origin.
Another beneficiary, Mr. Oba, was overjoyed, declaring that the CTC Chairman represents a new paradigm shift in the way and the people of the area were being carried along.
Theresa Frederick & Charity Amiso
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Niger Delta

Delta LG Polls: Oborevwori Urges PDP Candidates To Close Gaps

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Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in the forthcoming local government Elections to close gaps and ensure total defeat of the opposition.
Oborevwori gave the charge, Wednesday, at the PDP mega rally held in Asaba to sensitise the party faithful and the people of the state ahead of tomorrow election.
He said PDP candidates must not rest on their oars, adding that last-minute campaigns had become necessary to ensure total victory for the party, Saturday.
He assured the people of a free, fair and credible election and cautioned against violence during and after the election.
The Governor, receiving defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties, said they were proactive in their decision because their parties would have lost in the election.
According to Oborevwori, the rally was organised to gather all the party faithful and leaders together after about one month of campaigning across the state.
“I believe in free and fair elections, but while we move from community to community, ward to ward and local government to another, no other party is campaigning.
“But to all the chairmanship candidates and the councillors, as you leave here today, organise roadshows and ask the people to come out with their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to vote.
“Don’t assume they will write any result, because any result that is not genuine, whether for chairman or councillor, will not be accepted”, the Governor said.
He thanked the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the APC in Udu Local Government for defecting to the PDP.
“This is good for democracy, if you assess your opponent and you know that you cannot beat him or her, don’t contest; support your opponent in the true spirit of democracy.
“We are doing well in the construction of roads, bridges and flyovers across the state.
“So, the people of Delta are aware that we mean well as a government and as we go to polls on Saturday, there should be no form of violence, no fighting, just go there and cast your vote” he said.
Appreciating former Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for joining campaigns at the ward and local government in his area, Oborevwori pledged more sustainable developments in line with his MORE Agenda.
In his remarks, the state Deputy Governor, Sir Monday Onyeme, expressed confidence that the PDP would win all the seats across the 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
According to him, Delta is a PDP state, and the party has been working all through to woo voters across the state.
“We’ve worked hard, we shall win in all the LGAs and the wards, but I urge the candidates to reach out to all voters with their voter cards to vote for PDP.
“Since 1999, it has been PDP all the way; we are the winning team. We have built roads, empowered our people, established schools, and our state has been running very well”, the Deputy Governor said.
In their separate remarks, Okowa and the Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, Dennis Guwor among others, hailed the party for ensuring grassroots campaigns good to earn them 100 per cent victory.
Meanwhile, Delta PDP Chairman, Chief Kingsley Esiso, while receiving APC defectors from Warri South-West, Udu, Bomadi, and Burutu LGAs among others, said the rally was a celebration of victory for PDP.
“We do not have any rival; it is PDP all the way.
“In the past few weeks, we have taken campaigns to all the nooks and crannies of the 25 LGAs of the state.
“We have not seen other parties campaigning”, he said.

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Niger Delta

Police Dismiss Corporal Over Dereliction Of Duty

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The Nigeria Police has dismissed Corporal Buba Adamu who refused to report at his new station in Kaduna where he was transferred to from Cross River State Command for nine years.
The corporal was said to have promoted himself to the rank of Superintendent and operated illegal activities in Cross River State command.
The spokesperson of the command, SP Irene Ugbo, made this disclosure at a press briefing in Calabar, yesterday.
She said that Adamu had operated as a “mobile police officer” without any supervision or reporting to a specific police command since 2015 when the transfer was made.
The dismissed corporal was alleged to have been receiving his salary in spite of not reporting at his new station.
Adamu’s lid was blown open by some concerned members of the Nassarawa community, a Hausa/Fulani settlement in Calabar municipality that had reportedly suffered from his illegal activities.
The community raised the alarm when they learnt that the police command was under pressure to release Adamu following his arrest.
Ugbo said, “As of today, Corporal Adamu is no longer a policeman, because he has been relieved of his duties.
“Every item, property belonging to the Nigeria Police in his possession, including uniforms, identification card and others have been retrieved.
“The matter has now been charged to court. It is left for the Judiciary. The court will take it up from where we stopped , as we have done the needful.”

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