The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied rumors making rounds of shutting down its financial transactions from 23rd to 27th February 2023 to avoid vote buying ahead of the forthcoming general elections. The statement below went viral on WhatsApp at the beginning, claiming that the apex bank is planning on halting all electronic bank networks between Thursday and Monday in order to prevent electoral malpractices. Titled, “Special Report” the message read, “CBN PLANS TO SHUT DOWN FINANCIAL TRANSACTION FROM THURSDAY 23 OF FEBRUARY TILL 27TH OF FEBRUARY...GO AND STOCK YOUR HOME….
It said, “Anyhow you can get money between today and tomorrow, get and keep it, also whatever transfer you want to do, do it between today and tomorrow. Information I’m hearing is that, as of Thursday, bank networks will go off till Sunday or Monday, so politicians will not be able to transfer money to anybody for vote. So buy enough food at home, do your transfer now because the next five days will be difficult please.”
Therefore the Banks under the aegis of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) through its President, Rasheed Bolarnwa, made a statement to refute the above claim stating that it was concocted by faceless authors.
“The attention of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB), the umbrella body of Corporate and Marketing Communications Professionals working in Nigeria’s banking sector, has been drawn to the trending social media message purporting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was shutting down banking services for five days from Thursday, 23rd to Monday 27th February 2023 because of the general elections holding in Nigeria over next two weekends,” the statement stated.
“ACAMB hereby wishes to debunk the fake news in its entirety and wishes to assure Nigerians and the banking public that there is no iota of truth in the viral message that is being circulated. Up until this moment, no Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) 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.
“ACAMB further wishes to assure customers that their respective banks have put in place measures to ensure that depositors can as usual, access money in their accounts during this period.
“Also, 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.
“ACAMB urges Nigerians not to panic and to also avoid uncontrolled spending as a result of the fake news about the alleged plan to shut down bank branches and all digital banking channels. Members of the public should discountenance the trending message maliciously concocted by its faceless authors to cause disaffection among the citizenry and the DMBs.
“ACAMB calls on Nigerians to be peaceful and orderly during the elections and wishes the nation successful conduct of free, fair, and credible elections.”