The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, has said no less than N5 billion was lost and seven bank branches completely destroyed, following the violent protests and attacks that trailed fuel and naira scarcity in some states of the federation.
President of ASSBIFI, Olusoji Oluwole, who disclosed this at a briefing in Lagos condemned the unwarranted attacks on banks by aggrieved Nigerians frustrated by their inability to get new naira notes.
He called on the public to desist from threatening or attacking bank workers, or destroying bank properties, as bankers were also victims of the poorly implemented currency redesign.
On the upsurge of violence over new notes naira scarcity, the ASSBIFI President said the N5 billion was based on the attack on about five banks and seven branches across Ogun, Edo, Delta, Oyo, and Uyo states.
He said bank branches were burnt, Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, destroyed, while workers’ personal effects were damaged.
According to him, the attacks, which happened previously in Oyo and Ogun states were put at about N2 billion, while the recent attacks increased the banks’ losses to N5 billion.
He said: “ Right now, I want to believe that we will be talking about not less than five billion Naira and we are still counting, because seven branches have been burnt, ATMs have been destroyed, personal effects have been damaged, vehicles and so on and so forth.”
Oluwole said the Association had put its members on alert to be withdrawn without further notice should the attacks and threats to their lives continue.
“We value the lives of our members and colleagues and will not put them at any further risk. We have put them on alert and shall instruct them without further warning to immediately stay away from their branches if these attacks on our members and facilities continue until such a time that they can be guaranteed their personal safety and the security of their workplaces by the relevant authorities.
“We call on the public to belated National address by the President this morning (yesterday) is a clear indication that the funds released to the public were not sufficient and we are amazed that in the same breath, bank officials have been accused of “placing obstacles in the path of innocent Nigerians.
”We sympathize with our colleagues and employers in various banks whose branches were attacked, damaged, or burnt along with their equipment.
”As we stated in previous releases, while we are not against the CBN policy to redesign and withdraw the old naira notes, we continue to reiterate the need to fully engage all relevant stakeholders in immediately looking beyond printing new notes to alleviate naira scarcity as ordered by the council of state.”