Ogun State Government on Wednesday, 8 February, 2023, assured bankers and all citizens of adequate protection in the state while promising to continue to engage the Central BANK of Nigeria (CBN) in a bid to proffer solution to the cash scarcity presently bedeviling the nation.
The state Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) to the government, Dr. Dapo Okubadejo, gave the assurance during a meeting with the state chapter of Bankers Committee in his office in Abeokuta.
This was a follow up on the meeting earlier held between the group and the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, where the governor extracted commitment from the bankers to adequately dispense cash to the public.
Okubadejo, moved with the determination to address the scarcity of the naira notes, said the situation is hampering economic activities in the state and that the government is fully prepared to forestall any destruction of banking facilities.
Speaking with an assurance of improved security across all financial outlets, the CEA said the unfortunate incident involving the destruction of some banks’ Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was as a result of frustration caused by the unavailability of cash.
Recalling that the Governor had earlier met with the CBN Controller in Ogun State, the seasoned financial administrator said Governor Abiodun is concerned about the security of lives and property, noting that there are frantic efforts aimed at ensuring the supply of adequate cash as well as safety of every individual in the state.
Okubadejo reiterated that the state would continue to encourage peace and protect lives and property, while appealing to residents to exercise patience as the situation would soon be a thing of the past.
The financial expert also urged the people to desist from attacking banks and bankers, noting that the state is adequately prepared to provide security across the state.
He however advised the bankers to work round the clock because the onus lies with them to furnish the populace with the new naira notes, so as not to aggravate the already tensed situation.
He said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria has indicated that it would give money to the various banks, so as a state, we are using this opportunity to appeal to the Bankers’ Committee to ensure that people have access to their funds, for the smooth running of economic activities across the State”, Okubadejo said.
He further highlighted the need for the state to be at the forefront of industrialisation, insisting that the State Government will continue to engage the CBN in order to deal with the current situation.
In his remarks, the leader of the Bankers’ Forum, Mr. Adeniran Oladele, appreciated the State Government for its responsiveness, explaining that the meeting earlier held between Governor Abiodun and the CBN leadership had positively reduced the impact of the crisis.
The banker revealed that the crisis was caused by misinformation which has led to some banks losing revenue as a result of the panic closure.
He advised that there should be aggressive mass sensitisation on the availability of the new naira notes, saying that the public enlightenment will go a long way in reducing unrest.
“Ogun State is known to be a very peaceful state mainly because of the Governor’s deliberate strategy, not only to engage the youth, but also to be pragmatic, responsive and responsible”, the season banker said.