Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to give a special concession and alternatives to the people of the state against the 31 January deadline for the change of old naira notes into new ones.
Buni said the appeal became necessary due to lack of banking services in most parts of the state.
The governor explained that only four out of the 17 local government areas in the state have banks, making it difficult for people in the remaining 13 local government areas to access banking services.
He said: “Some of the banks with branches in the local government areas closed the branches at the peak of the Boko Haram security challenge [and] are yet to reopen in spite of the improved security in the state.
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“The CBN should be considerate to provide special services to such areas with special needs to avoid making them victims and losing their money.
“The CBN and commercial banks should as a matter of urgent public interests deploy alternative services at their disposal to salvage the situation.
“As a regulatory body, CBN should also ensure commercial banks open branches in the local government council headquarters now that there is improved peace and security across the state,” he said.
Buni said the improved security in Yobe State and the North East generally makes it conducive for banks to resume operations and open new branches in local government council headquarters and other towns.
He expressed fears that until something urgent is done, many people may fall victim to failing to change to the new notes.
He said: “As government, we made these observations earlier but the challenge is still there and needs the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to save the situation.”