Peoples Digest Online- Bank customers in the country have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure commercial banks live up to their mandate of satisfying customers. They made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in various parts of the country.
NAN reports that many of the customers were at various bank premises trying to withdraw cash from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). A cross section of them decried poor services by the banks, especially in ensuring adequate provision of funds in the ATMs at weekends and public holidays. A visit by a NAN correspondent to most of the centres at the weekend showed long queues at the very limited ATMs within the various premises. “The bank management is aware of the usual chaos at ATMs during weekends, holidays or festive periods and ought to have made adequate provision, by ensuring sufficient funds in ATMs.
“It is very unfair that the interest of customers is not considered by the banks and the government should try and look into the matter for the good of the poor masses,” a customer, Adams Malamute said. NAN reports that at the Area 3, Garki, Abuja, where many bank branches were situated, fewer customers were seen making withdrawals and majority of the ATMs were dispensing cash. Mr Alfred Agula, a customer at the Guarantee Trust Bank, said he drove all the way to town to withdraw money because he wanted to avoid long queues.
“The economy is very tight and one has to manage every resources he has, if only adequate provisions were made by those in power, things will be easier for all of us. “We are on Sallah holiday and as you can see, very few people are seen withdrawing money, because everybody is broke; there is no money in the economy. It was also a tale of frustration for many bank customers during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in the South west zone as many ATMs failed to dispense cash.
Long queues were also a permanent feature at most banks’ premises. In Oyo State, some of the customers who spoke with NAN, lamented the long queues and insufficient funds in the machines, urging the banks to evolve new measures aimed at resolving the challenges. But an official of a commercial bank, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, told NAN that the situation was due to high patronage at ATMs during festive periods .
She said that funds were loaded into the ATMs based on availability, saying an official of the bank had been designated to load the ATMs as soon as fund was available. “A bank official works at weekends and public holidays to attend to issues at the ATMs,’’ she stated. In Ogun, customers also faced similar hitches and called on banks in the state to step up measures to ensuring easy cash withdrawals through ATMs. Most, if not all ATMs in the Ijebu-Ode metropolis, are concentrated on the Folagbade-Ibadan road in Ijebu-Ode, a situation the banks attributed to security reasons.
Mrs Adeola Akinyemi, a teacher in Odogbolu, said residents of the area and the neighbouring Ikenne town always had difficulties using ATMs. An official of one of the commercial banks in the area, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the patronage of ATMs was usually high during festive periods. He, however, said that the bank was trying its best to fix the problems as they came up. According to him, each ATM takes as much as N8 million with N2 million of N1,000 notes in each of the four trays in each machine.