Thursday, October 22, 2020
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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Residents besiege Abuja banks as FG eases lockdown

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Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Civil servants, artisans, and others on Monday besieged branches of commercial banks in different parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as the 28-day  lockdown of the FCT meant to curtail the spread of COVID-19 ended.

Our correspondent reported that the banks witnessed a huge crowd of residents who started storming the branches as early as 7am ahead of resumption.

Private security personnel attached to the banks had difficulty in controlling the surging crowd.

While many were seen struggling to use the Automated Teller Machine installed within the banks’ premises, others were eager to gain access to the banking floors to transact business.

In some of the banks, large canopies were erected outside for bank customers to sit down and wait for their turns while they were being allowed into the banking floors in batches.

Customers were also made to use sanitisers provided at the branches before transacting business.

Similarly, scenario played out with those using the ATM as customers are only given access to the booths in batches of five or six at a time.

Areas, where our correspondent monitored the banks, include Asokoro, Central Business District, Wuse 2, and Garki among others.

A bank customer,  Peter Chidi, who spoke with our correspondent at a bank in Wuse 2, said he arrived the bank early in the morning because he envisaged the crowd.

“You know that most banks in Abuja did not operate during the lockdown. Even most ATMs did not work to capacity during the period.

“So, it is expected that people will rush to their banks this morning,” he said.

Meanwhile, most civil servants did not report for work at the federal secretariat complex on Monday.

The Federal Government had earlier directed that only civil servants from Level 14 and above should report for work.

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