After several weeks of hardship occasioned by the naira scarcity, some semblance of sanity this weekend began to return to the banking halls and ATM points as customers were able to access cash with less stress than before.
Although many customers who thronged the various banks and ATM points could not get as much cash as they desired, there was an appreciable improvement on what had prevailed since January.
The Central Bank (CBN), in an apparent move to avert the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the naira scarcity, had ordered the banks to open yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) to enable Nigerians access cash.
The apex bank itself threw its vaults open for the banks to have cash to circulate.
However, supply from the CBN to the commercial banks as at today falls far below demand.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) dispensed cash freely in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, bringing much relief to cash strapped residents.
Other customers who chose to go to the banking halls also returned home with money.
Industry sources had told OYO NEWS that the scarcity would still linger for some time in view of the current high demand for cash, especially by individuals.
In Ibadan and other cities and towns, customers besieged the banks as early as they found it convenient to draw money from their accounts or withdraw from the ATMs.
Customers were seen standing on queues entering the banking halls one after another.
The banks that opened for operations in Ibadan over the weekend include First City Monument Bank (FCMB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank, First Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, and Access Bank.
There were mixed reactions from customers in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
While some commended the CBN for its directive to the banks to open for business yesterday and today, some others described the move as avoidable stress for the people.
They were of the view that Nigerians would not have gone through the suffering of the last two months if the CBN had done the needful all along.
Ade Adeoye said the complaints now being addressed by the apex bank ought to have been dealt with before now.
Kolawole Ishola asked the CBN to direct the banks to operate from 8am to 6pm daily, including weekends to enable them attend to more customers.