Customers seek sanctions against erring banks
By Babajide Komolafe & Elizabeth Adegbesan
Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that banks have refunded N654.49 million excess charges deducted from government bank accounts related to the federation account.
The Bureau disclosed this in its Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursement report for March 2018.
The bureau said that N654.49 million excess bank charge refund was part of the N647.39 billion disbursed by FAAC to the three tiers of government as statutory allocation for March.
Commenting on this development, President, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Mr. Uju Ogubunka, said it is confirmation of the reality of the problem of excess bank charges, adding its time the federal government introduced sanctions against banks involved in the unwholesome practice.
Ogubunka stated: “This confirms the fears and agonies that bank customers have been passing through, and we have been complaining but nobody seems to be interested in listening to us, let alone do something. Now that it has hit the government account perhaps they will now know that all the complaints are real, and take action to stop this unwholesome practice.
“It’s like you give a dog something to keep and then the dog comes around to eat it. That is a betrayal of confidence to the highest level, a betrayal of trust to the highest level, and such unwholesome practice should have been quickly taken care of.
“Otherwise I would have suggested that those who cause these kind of problems in the system should be sanctioned, seriously sanctioned, because it is an unwholesome practice and it deters people from coming into the banking system.
“We want everybody to come into the formal sector of the economy, we want financial inclusion, and these people out there are hearing and seeing what is happening to those who are already in the system. So how do you convince them to join you?’’
“Now that it has hit the government account, let’s pray that the National Assembly, the federal government, that is, the Presidency, and indeed the law courts should be able to deal with it appropriately. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has tried in its own way as a regulator by setting up a consumer protection department, but I can tell you from what is still happening that instead of it abating, it is really worsening.”