Nigerian banks have denied reports that financial institutions plan to shut down operations due to the presidential election holding on Saturday, 25 February 2023.
Messages have been circulated through WhatsApp that all banking services, including electronic payment channels, will not be available to the public for five days.
The reports claimed the banks will close to customers between February 23 to 27, 2023. This sparked fear among Nigerians considering the country is still battling with Naira scarcity and failed online transactions despite the banks being operational.
In a statement released by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks, the group debunked the report, stating the Presidential poll will not affect the services of the banks.
According to the President of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks, Rasheed Bolarinwa, the message, which states the shutdown is on the order of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is fake.
Bolarinwa said the message should be disregarded as the central bank has not communicated such a directive to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) or other financial institutions,
He said measures have been put in place to ensure bank services are not disrupted by the presidential election and to allow depositors or customers to continue to have access to them.
“There is no iota of truth in the viral message that is being circulated. Up until this moment, no Deposit Money Banks or other institutions providing financial services have received any directive or communication from the CBN to close the doors of their physical banking halls or shut their digital platforms and online banking channels against their customers because of elections,” Bolarinwa said.
The head of the association also stated: “Customers who wish to carry out transfers or use electronic banking services will have unhindered access to these services before, during, and after the elections.”