By Olubukola Aiyedogbon, Ilorin
Residents of Ilorin, capital of Kwara have expressed concern over the charges on deposits by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Some of them who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Friday said that it is was nothing but extortion by the apex bank.
Mrs. Adejumoke Olumuyiwa, the owner of a retail outlet, said that it was the banks’ own way of increasing cases of armed robbery.
“They are only telling us to start keeping our money at home again like we traders used to do before.
“And of course that is an invitation to robbers burgling your home. We were told cashless policy on withdrawals before, we thought that was in our interest.
“I want to deposit money not withdraw, so what is the crime there? Is it everyone in Nigeria that has a bank account?.
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“This is not going down well with me anyway, they had better reverse it,” she said.
Another respondent, who sells clothing materials, at Oja Tuntun market, who simply identified herself as Fatimah, said that it was a policy that didn’t have consideration for traders.
“They want everybody to do transactions online but have forgotten that it is not everybody that is educated or computer literate.
“I think the government should focus on what is first, like education, good housing, social security and upgrade our standards of living.
“If you run a cashless policy, have you considered the blind man begging on the street? How does he do his own transaction?
“Policymakers just assume things from their own point of view. We are still battling with minimum wage and here is another economy killer,” she said.
Mr. Ike Fidelis, who sells shoes, said that the economy of Nigeria was gradually going back to the era of a trade by barter.
“I don’t know why I have a feeling that we will soon go back to the era of exchanging goods and services.
“When everybody digs the soil to keep their money. The banks are not helping our investments at all, we are being exploited.
“That is why you see all of them, bankers dressing richly, all they do is make more profit than us who do the work to get money, all in the name of managing or keeping our money safe.
“To withdraw charges, to deposit again charges, when we withdraw five times from another bank ATM they begin to charge again.
“You will not believe that if you use another bank’s ATM card on another machine, you cannot withdraw more than N10,000 at once.
“Because they know that by the time you withdraw five times for N50,000 you are due for charges at your next withdrawal.
“Why are they just trying to make living difficult for the common man. I’m sure if it continues to be unbearable we small traders will be forced to close our bank accounts and resolve to self-help, which I think is better,” he lamented.
Mrs. Kike Ogundipe, a civil servant, said “this is not good at this time. We cannot do without cash circulation in the economy.
“We are told cashless transactions, these transactions attract charges too, even the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transactions attract charges, so is it not extortion ?.
“I am happy about the resolve of the House of Representatives to the CBN, to put the implementation of the policy on hold. These banks are making so much money out of the poor man’s account.
“Now I see the parliament working swiftly in favor of the common man, which is why they are there, and I really appreciate them,” she said.
NAN reports that the CBN issued a circular on Sept. 17, that commencing from Sept. 18, transactions above N500, 000 would attract charges on both withdrawal and deposits, for individual and corporate accounts, in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers states, while the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy will begin by March 2020.