By NABILU BALARABE
DAMATURU- Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant special concession to the state against the January 31 deadline for citizens to change the old bank notes.
Buni made the call in a statement by his Director-General, Press and Media Affairs, Alhaji Mamman Mohammed in Damaturu on Sunday.
He said such special concession and alternatives were imperative due to lack of banking services in parts of the state.
“Only four of the 17 local government areas in the state have banks, making it difficult for people in the remaining 13 LGAs to access banking services.
“Some of the banks with branches in the LGAs closed down at the peak of the Boko Haram security challenge but are yet to reopen in spite of the improved security in the state.
“The CBN should be considerate to provide special services to such areas with special needs to avoid making them victims and loosing their money.
“The CBN and commercial banks should as a matter of urgent public interest deploy alternative services at their disposal to salvage the situation,” the governor said.
Buni noted that as a regulatory body, the apex bank should also ensure that commercial banks open branches in the affected councils’ headquarters now that security situation improved across the state.
He said the improved security in Yobe and the North-East in general made it conducive for the banks to resume operations, and open new branches in the councils’ headquarters and other towns.
The governor expressed concern that, “until something urgent is done, many people may fall victims of failing to change to the new notes.”
“As a government; we made these observations earlier but the challenge is still there and needs the intervention of the CBN to save the situation”. (NAN)