With the lingering shortage of new notes showing no sign of abating, thus fuelling anger among Nigerians, some banks in the country have started taking measures to protect their employees and avert possible attacks by irate customers, findings by New Telegraph has shown.
Specifically, an email sent to its employees by a leading commercial bank, over the weekend, which was sighted by New Telegraph’s correspondent, advised them on measures to adopt, including dressing down, whenever they report for duty for the rest of this week.
The email partly read: “In view of the ongoing nationwide Naira Redesign and cash swap, it has become imperative that we design an appropriate response to manage the situation within and around our branches effectively. “Considering the potential upsurge in the number of customers who will visit our branches and channels for cash withdrawals and other ancillary businesses, Exco hereby directs that: “All Regional Bank Heads, Branch Leaders and all Relationship Officers are to resume in their banking halls by 8am Monday to personally manage this crisis.
“All Sales Staff are to join the Operations Team to contain this situation by attending to customers who visit our branches very politely to keep tempers down. All non-essential relationship calls outside the branch should be suspended throughout this week “Branch Leaders should provide strong leadership by showing empathy and calmly engaging the customers.
All branches are to ensure there are canopies and chairs for customers around our ATMs in addition to orderly queue management. “Relationship Officers are to take turns in supervising ATMs at their locations. Customers are to make a single withdrawal limited to one debit card only. “Tally numbers should be given as the customers at the gate. Only five customers for small branches and 10 for big branches should be let into the banking hall at a time.”
The email further stated that when available funds are exhausted, customers should be politely asked to come back the next day, adding that, “Payment the subsequent day must start from where it stopped the previous day.”
In addition, the email said that Branch Leaders should make provision for soft drinks for customers. According to the email, if there is any negative press or video associated with poor handling of the cash swap activities, the Branch Leader at such a location will be held responsible. “We are clearly in a crisis situation which has shown high possibility of degenerating to mass protests.
This is a call for calmness and wisdom to avert loss of lives or property. Please dress down tomorrow and the rest of the week. This directive is from management,” the email said. New Telegraph reports that with the fuel scarcity and new naira shortage disrupting business activities in markets, restaurants, banks, and major sales outlets across the country, some angry citizens, last Friday vented their anger by embarking on street protests in states such as Lagos, Oyo, Edo and Ondo, while others attacked bank branches and facilities.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),Mr. Godwin Emefiele, held a press conference in Lagos last Friday where he assured Nigerians of the apex bank’s capacity to produce and circulate appropriate amounts of the new naira notes. Although the CBN Governor admitted hiccups in the implementation process, he said he would not promise a “further extension” of the deadline.