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Experts fault CBN’s new directive on ATMs

Two financial experts have faulted the reversal of CBN policy on operation of ATMs outside banks’ premises. The CBN last year directed banks to stop operating ATMs outside their premises.

It handed some of them to a consortium of companies to manage. But last week, the CBN Deputy Governor (Operations), Mr. Tunde Lemo, told newsmen in Abuja that “banks can now roll out ATMs beyond their premises.”

They said that the CBN needed to be consistent in its policies to prevent them from impacting negatively on the economy.

Dr Samuel Nzekwe, a former President of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), said that the CBN should have considered the cost implications of the policy reversal on the banks.

He said that the banks had spent so much in removing the ATMs that were located outside their premises. According to him, the banks must have paid contractors a lot to remove the ATM machines and in the course of removing them, some of the machines may have been damaged.

He said that the new directive to re-install the machines would be additional costs to their operations. Nzekwe advised that CBN needed to be firm in taking decisions and be consistent with those policies.

He said that CBN needed to be firm in taking decisions regarding financial matters and should think about their implications properly before taking decisions.

Nzekwe, however, said that the new decision would enhance the achievement of a cashless economy, noting that it would give customers the opportunity to withdraw money through the ATM at their convenience.

Mr Titus Okunwunmu, a financial and management consultant corroborated Nzekwe’s view and said that the CBN was inconsistent in many of its policies. “CBN, being the regulator, should always consult stakeholders in the industry before designing any policy,” he said. Okunwunmu said that the reversal of the policy would lead to waste of banks’ resources.


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