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 pressmen on Sunday in various parts of the country.
Newsmen report 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.
 Journalists report that at the  Area 3, Garki, Abuja,  where many bank branches were situated, fewer customers were seen making withdrawers 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 journalist 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.
The bank official said that security guards from private firms were always available around  the gallery to offer assistance to customers in need to quicken process of withdrawal.
Pressmen was told that policemen were  also around to ensure general security in the banks.
The source added that officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) always visited the banks and the galleries  during the  festive periods to monitor ATM uptime and off time. 
But in Ekiti, many customers had cheery tales to tell as the ATMs were working maximally.
NAN correspondents who visited ATM points at  Ikole Ekiti, Ikere Ekiti, Emure Ekiti, Ilawe Ekiti, Ifaki Ekiti, reported that while there were queues, the ATMs were working.
A banker, who pleaded anonymity, however, blamed the challenges faced in operating the ATMs on technical error traceable to poor installation.
He said the unavailability of cash  in some  ATMs was because no machine could  be uploaded with over N1m after 6p.m. to minimise the risk of theft and security breaches.
“As a result, 10 big customers   can come and exhaust  an ATM in a single night  and then subsequent customers will not be able to access cash from the same machine until probably the next day.”
In Ondo State, many residents of Akure metropolis also  experienced the situation, urging the financial institutions to examine the faults and fix them. 
The story was not different in Osun, where NAN observed long queues in some communities, although  the ATMs were dispensing cash. 

Some of the customers,  who spoke with NAN, expressed satisfaction over the services provided by the banks during the holidays. 
Mr Giwa Sulaiman, an Operations Manager in one of   the new generation banks in Osogbo,  said the  bank had made provisions  for easy access for withdrawal from ATMs during the Eid-el-Kabir holidays. 

Sulaiman said apart from  physical cash deposit over the counter in the banking hall during the holidays, customers  would have access to ATMs  and other e-channels to make withdrawal.

Also,  Mr Kingsley Ikedia, a Customer Relations Manager of another new generation bank,  said there was adequate provision  for  withdrawals  during the holidays.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in Osun  said the council had met with commercial banks  on the need to protect the rights  of customers during the holidays.

Mr Akinwunmi  Ishola, CPC  Senior Scientific Officer,  told NAN that  the council had  several meetings with stakeholders in the banking sector  to ensure easy access to cash during holidays.

He said banks’  management in the state had promised the council that withdrawing of cash during the  holidays would not be difficult for customers.
However, a Banker, Mr Samuel Ogijo, in Lokoja,  told NAN that the availability of ATMs in rural areas depended on bank branches, saying most rural dwellers depended mainly on POS merchants.
He added that even where there were ATMs in rural areas, there were usually issues of poor network, cash jams and no cash.

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