The managing director of the Yobe Micro Finance Bank, Sheriff Almuhajir, has alleged that the sum of N4.3 billion approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for banks in Yobe State has been diverted elsewhere.
Mr Almuhajir made the claim in a video posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“My people of Yobe State and Damaturu in particular, I want to tell you that I got reliable information that the Central Bank of Nigeria, Damaturu Branch, has brought N1000 denominations of 4.3 billion naira to Yobe State,” Mr Almuhajir raised an alarm.
“More than N700 million of the amount was meant for POS agents. But the question I want to ask then is where are these monies?
“I can authoritatively tell you that N4.3 billion was not shared in Yobe state.
“I can also tell you that we don’t have N1 billion of the new currency in circulation in this state. What is the population of the Yobe State?
“How many commercial banks do we have in this state. How many ATM machines do we have?”
The microfinance bank CEO argued that even if the ATM machines would be dispensing cash every minute, the amount could not be withdrawn in a week.
“Even if the ATM machines have been dispensing cash every minute between last week and today, I can assure that we have not withdrawn N1 billion in this state.
“We saw how people sleep at ATM machines. There has never been a time when you don’t see people in long queues at ATM points.
“It’s pathetic that we have got to a stage where children can’t go to school, small business owners have closed shops all because there is no cash at hand to run the business. The poor man’s life has been made difficult,” he said.
Mr Almuhajir accused some managers of the commercial banks of diverting the funds out of the state.
“I insist that these monies are not in Yobe State; if you’re in doubt, prove me wrong. Show me where they are kept. Or in whose possession they are, the people that got the money.
Mr Almuhajir added that even the state government can’t boast of having N1 million naira in cash in its possession.
“I am very optimistic that these monies were diverted out of the state and we won’t accept that.
“Even though I am aware that investigation is ongoing, we want stakeholders to come together and find out where the monies were taken to. Because the monies were never dispensed to our people.
“How can a very few people hold us to ransom? We can’t even pay for little things.
“We don’t even have up to 50 ATMs in the state, so how can people withdraw N4.3. billion in a short period of time?
He chastised the commercial banks, saying some Points of Sale, PoS operators provide better service than some of the banks