Anger and frustration have become the lots of Nigerians as they now sleep in various Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATM) locations in order to make withdrawal of new notes from the bank ATMs.
SaharaReporters gathered that while some bank customers, in Enugu State for example, stayed till 2am until the funds loaded were finished, others came in as early as 3 am to stay till morning so that they could be among the first to make withdrawals when the banks started work by 8am.
It was observed that virtually in all the banks, only one or two ATM machine(s) were dispensing cash, while so many other ATM machines were not loaded, forcing hundreds of people to queue up to five hours to make withdrawals, which could not exceed N20,000 daily.
A bank customer who gave his name as Oforbuike Moses told SaharaReporters that for three days, he had been returning to bank ATMs to make withdrawals but had not been successful because of a huge crowd that besiege bank ATMs.
Moses said, "Today will make it fourth time I will be going to bank. I left my house by 4am so that I can make withdrawal. Unfortunately, by the time I got to First Bank ATM at Ọkpara Avenue, behold over 100 people were already there. The people that came before me had already started issuing number according to the time they came. At 4am, I am 115 in number which means 114 people had come before me and when the bank starts work by 8am, they will first make withdrawals before me."
He added, "I was even told that some people slept in the ATM because the only machine dispensing money stopped working by 2am and they had to sleep there."
Lamenting the situation, Moses described this CBN new monetary Policy as demonic and evil.
"There's no reason whatsoever to justify this unmitigated suffering that they have thrown Nigerians into. People now leave their businesses and spend the whole day in other to get N20,000 only. Yet terrorists and bandits in the Northern Nigeria are already parading the new banknotes in millions while the poor Nigerians are being subjected to unimaginable suffering to make simple N20,000 withdrawal here."
Another bank customer, Kingsley Obi, also lamented the suffering Nigerians were going through to get cash.
"I went to bank around 1:30am yesterday (Thursday) only to withdraw N20,000 around 11am, after how many hours. So, people have left their businesses to stay in ATM machines. This is the worse policy of this administration.
"Why is Buhari a curse to Nigeria? When he came as a military Head of State in 1983, because of his inept administration Nigerians were pepped. Now he is at it again. People are suffering in everything while the government is not providing solution. It is unfortunate. Nigerians will also make another mistake and choose another Buhari or looters who use different decoy to loot public treasure," he lamented.
Meanwhile in Sokoto State, one of the core northern states, the situation is any better.
Bank customers in Sokoto State queued for hours, sometimes days due to shortage of new naira notes, SaharaReporters gathered.
The bank customers who wish to access the new naira notes have now resolved to sleep at an ATM gallery due to the long qeues.
A bank customer from Wamakko, in the Wamakko Local Government Area, Aliyu Muntari, said he decided to bring his beddings to a Zenith bank ATM gallery because he queued for over 14 hours to withdraw N10,000.
"I came all the way from Wamakko town, today is my third day in Sokoto city. I had to bring my mat to sleep at the ATM gallery because I want to be able to get N10,000 cash.
"Surprisingly, I'm not alone, as you can see other people here, we'll be passing the night so that by the time the machines are loaded in the morning, we'll be among the people to make withdrawals," Muntari said.
Another customer, Saminu Kurfi, said, "Imagine how this people have subjected the poor people to hardship. Often you need just N1000 to buy foodstuff but you can't get it.
"Now in virtually all markets, particularly in rural areas, most vendors no longer accept the old naira notes, making almost impossible to transact any business.
"This is a very dangerous trend, and I can almost predict that if things continue this way going forward, people may be forced to revolt," Kurfi said.