By G9ija

Sterling Bank PLC has offered reasons why it did not disburse the N6 million in N200 denomination found in its vault in its Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State branch.

The Bank offered the explanation on Sunday night after a viral video showed that it had the money in its vault.

The discovery followed the visit of an official of the Central Bank of Nigeria to the vault of the bank.

The official, who identified himself simply as Owoeye, a Deputy Director, made the discovery public, ordering that the branch must commence the dispensing of the money the following morning at the latest.

Reacting in the statement on Sunday, Sterling Bank PLC said at the time the fund was discovered, it was yet to configure its Automated Teller Machine for the dispensing of N200 notes.

It said the new N1,000 and N500 notes in its possession at the time had been disbursed.

The statement, titled: “New Notes Distribution At Ado-Ekiti Branch,” said: “We would like to formally state the facts surrounding our branch in Ado Ekiti.

“The Naira notes referenced were received prior to the re-configuration of the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to dispense the 200 Naira denomination.

“On January 23, 2023, a regulatory official visited our branch in Ado-Ekiti and the vault contained N 6,000,000 in N200 denominations.

“During the visit, the official observed that we had ran out of N1,000 and N500 notes on that day and were unable to load the N200 as the ATMs had not yet been configured to dispense N200 notes.

“At the time of the visit, the subsisting instruction was that the newly designed notes were not to be dispensed over the counter.

“All our ATMs have been dispensing the available quantities of the N1000 and N500 denominations of the newly designed currency as received since the commencement of the policy. We have also successfully reconfigured our ATMs nationwide to dispense N200 notes.

“All denominations can now be withdrawn from our ATMs and over the counter in line with regulatory pronouncement on February 2, 2023.

“We hereby confidently assure the public that the branch was not hoarding any funds and that Sterling remains at the forefront of ensuring that this exercise is a resounding success.

“Together, we will all overcome this inconvenience and come out stronger.”

As reported earlier by The Eagle Online:
A video showing several bundles of new Naira notes hidden in a room at Sterling Bank PLC, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State has been trending on social media.

The bank was said to have refused to dispense it through its five Automated Teller Machines for about two weeks.

A background voice, who identified himself simply as Owoeye, a Deputy Director with the Central Bank of Nigeria, stated that the bank officials claimed the ATMs were yet to be configured.

Owoeye said: “They have N6 million, which they collected from Central Bank of Nigeria for about two weeks but never disbursed any.

“They said they are yet to configure the ATM.

“I don’t know why that is so.

“I brought their attention to the penalty clause of N1 million per day because they have five ATMs

“So, they don’t have any reason for keeping this money.

“The Zonal Service Manager, Kunle Onipede, promised that latest 10am tomorrow, because I promised them that I will be here by 10am and I want to see the machine dispensing this money.

“This is Olumide Owolabi, Service Manager, Ado, and Motunrayo Babayemi.

“My name is Owoeye, I am a Deputy Director from CBN.”