Yuletide: Long queues at ATMs, banking halls

Yuletide: Long queues at ATMs, banking halls

Friday, December 22, 2017 8:13 am

Customers on queue to withdraw money at First Bank’s ATM in Kuje on Thursday

Femi Ipaye with Agency reports

Customers using the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), especially in satellite town of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory have for the past few days being confronted with long queues at various branches of commercial banks as a result of poor services rendered by the machines.

In most of the satellite towns, long queues of customers who want to withdraw money from their accounts, make transfers haven’t be able to do so due to poor network services.

The long queues at the ATMs were observed in Kuje, Nyanya, Jikowyi, Karu among others.

Some banks has been sending apologies to their various customers, just like the below one by the EcoBank.

The situation was however different at city centre as where there was also heavy influx of customers at many Automated Teller Machines (ATM) centres

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that most of ATMs were, however, loaded with cash to contain the situation.

Some of the banks visited included Guarantee Trust Bank(GTB) Apo, Zenith Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Skye Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa and GTB in Area 3, Garki.

Miss Catherine Agatha, a customer at the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) Area 3, said she was not surprised to see the queue at the bank.

Agatha a civil servant, said she received her December salary alert late last night and decided to get some money to shop for the Christmas celebrations.

Mr Chris Nzeh, a customer at Diamond bank Garki, said he came to do some transfers to family members only to meet a long queue.

“People are complaining that the economy is bad and there is no money, yet the ATMs are crowded.

“Although I am happy that all the machines are dispensing cash and I pray the management of the bank would ensure this during the holidays.

At the Zenith Bank in Area 3, a customer, Mrs Gladys Apo, told NAN that she just wanted to get some money from her salary.

Although the queue is much, people are able to withdraw money.

“Everywhere seems dry as if nothing is happening. I do not even think if many people will be traveling out of Abuja during this festivity.

“Everyone is just trying to manage and some of us who are wise are trying to save for next year.

“I only pray for a miracle for us in this country as people are really suffering and can barely feed, let alone do extravagant spending for Christmas.

An official at the First Bank of Nigeria who preferred anonymity, assured of the bank’s plan to ensure availability of funds at the various branches during the festivity.

The official said that the queues were only due to recent payment of salaries, adding that the bank had ensured that all the ATMs were loaded with cash.

But the situation is not limited to Abuja as some residents of Benin who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said they faced a lot of discomfort just to withdraw money.

They attributed the poor services of the ATMs to network challenges, the respondents also decried the attitudes of the managements or the operators of the machines to customers.

The queues,  which characterized ATM centres across Benin, started since Tuesday.

Another crowd of customers waiting to withdraw cash in Kuje

A bank worker who pleaded anonymity, attributed the poor services to network challenges and appealed for patience from the customers, adding that they were working hard to resolve the issue.

This promise was, however, disputed by one of the respondents who claimed that the situation had become a yearly occurrence experienced by customers which had not been resolved.

According to Mr Andrew Usifo, “we are not just hearing this for the first time, in fact, this poor services of the ATMs have become a yearly ritual at this time of the year.

“Last December it was like this and they did promise to work on it, just like they are saying now, but what have we this year again.

“They need to improve and work on their network, especially against the backdrop of expected high traffic occasioned by the Christmas celebration,” he said.

Another resident, James Acha, decried the fact that Nigerians were virtually going through lot of suffering to get what they wanted.

“I just cannot understand this; that we worked extra hard to make money and another tortuous process to even keep it in these banks, and another challenge to withdraw the money,” he said.

John Ebidah said that he had to wake as early as 5.30 a.m. to use the machine, as most of them were not working because of network issue.

Ebidah stressed that none of the several ATMs on the airport road was dispensing cash as at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“As I speak with you, even the banking hall is no different. It is filled with people trying to make one transaction or another,” he stated.


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