IT is both appalling and shameful to hear so soon that some commercial banks are already aiding and abetting the hoarding and illegal sales of the newly redesigned Naira notes. What a country we belong!
According to media reports, the Department of State Services, DSS, over the weekend arrested some members of an organised syndicate selling the new Naira notes in parts of the country. The DSS said some commercial bank officials were aiding and abetting the act. This somewhat confirms the persistent allegation by many customers of banks that some staff of banks collude with hackers outside to steal money from their accounts.
Also last week in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, CBN staff had reasons to go into strong rooms of commercial banks to ascertain allegations of hoarding and other unhealthy conducts by some commercial banks, said to be making it difficult for people to access the new currency notes.
It appears that the unleashing of the anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, on the banks by the CBN over information of hoarding and diversion of new notes, has started paying off.
What more infractions could amount to economic sabotage and undermining of national security than these evil designs to derail the commendable cashless policy of CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, aimed at reducing crimes and improving the country’s economy?
Second, with what is happening now, what assurance can the public get that some evil-minded politicians are not already in cahoots with some banks across the country to supply them with the new Naira notes which they intend to use to buy votes and bribe security agents during next month’s election?
The DSS’ resolve to go after those behind these economic malfeasances is a good one, but it should not end only as a promise. All instruments of state intelligence and coercive apparatus should be mobilised to track all the criminals involved in this crime as fast possible and bring them to justice.
The CBN, through its Director, Internal Audit, has also urged Nigerians to report any commercial bank that failed to dispense the Naira notes allocated to it at its business outlets for sanctioning. We hope that the CBN will swiftly act on information supplied to it by members of the public.
The DSS plea with anyone that has useful information relating to these treasonable acts to pass the information to the relevant authorities, is also in the right direction.
We, therefore, urge members of the public to furnish the security agencies, appropriate CBN authorities, or even credible media, with any useful information they may have regarding the new currency racketeering. This is not the time to abandon all the works that need to be done to CBN and security agencies.