By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State government has attributed fraud assisted with the Automated Teller Machine, ATM, in the country and state in particular, to the uncooperative attitude of banks and regulatory agencies, just as it announced steps to check the trend.
State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Prince Adeniyi Oyemade, made the remarks yesterday at a media briefing on the activities of his ministry in the last three years, to commemorate the third year anniversary of Governor Babatunde Fashola in office.
The commissioner lamented that the banks had refused to accept liability for the frauds on the basis that customers must have compromised their Personal Identification Numbers, PINs.
Oyemade, who frowned at the development, said with emphasis that the state government would not condone such flimsy excuse from the banks and that the government was ready to check the trend forthwith.
His words: â€œAs a responsible government this situation cannot be allowed to continue unchecked. The ministry is, therefore, making preparations to organise a forum of all stakeholders made up of banks, regulatory bodies and relevant organisations to find a lasting solution to this problem.
â€œWe seize this opportunity to call on all the banks and relevant bodies to be alive to their responsibilities in protecting the rights of their customers.
â€œATM is a technological advancement which is gradually turning into a curse if the trend of ATM frauds goes unchecked.â€
Oyemade also noted that due to the remarkable achievements by the committee, the Consumer Protection Council, Abuja do refer cases to the state council for resolution.
He continued: â€œAs a responsible and responsive administration, we are determined to protect the rights of consumers in Lagos State and it is for this purpose that the Consumer Protection Committee was inaugurated.â€
The commissioner urged all Lagos residents whose rights as consumers had been infringed upon to take advantage of the opportunity of the council to seek redress at free of charge.
Speaking on the state of the development of the 16,500 hectares of Lekki Free Trade Zone, LFTZ, Oyemade disclosed that work has reached advanced stage on the first phase which measures 3,500 hectares of land.
He noted that one of the major challenges which the state government was contending with in the developmentÂ was the issue of compensation to the original owners of the land on which the zone is being developed and said that the problem had been substantially resolved with the payment of compensation to communities within parcel A of the zone.
He added that excision of 750 hectares of land for village expansion and resettlement had also been granted to the various communities within parcel A of the zone while the issue of compensation to communities within parcel B of the zone would be addressed as progress is made in the development of the zone..