Bank customers have openly shown their delight to the Senate for its directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the monthly Automated Teller Machine card maintenance fee imposed on users by commercial banks.
Dr Uju Ogubunka, The President, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, described the directive as a good development for the industry and bank customers using the facility.
According to him, though the bank customers are happy, those benefitting from the charges will not be happy because an avenue for revenue inflow will be blocked. But he went on to say the development had been long coming because people were complaining incessantly about the maintenance fee.
Ogubunka stated, “People have been suffering and now I am happy that their suffering will be reduced, if not eliminated. I know the CBN is a responsible organisation and if the National Assembly conveys a directive to them, it is only logical that they obey, though I cannot speak for them.
“If you are removing the CoT, remove it and do not replace it with maintenance fees. That way, it will be fair enough on customers. When we talk about credit failures, some of them are as a result of high charges on customers.”
The President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Dr Uche Olowu, in response said that the fact the Senate was overstepping its boundaries.
He said members of the upper legislative chamber ought to focus on legislation that would improve infrastructure in the country to bring the cost of doing business down. He went on to say that the ATM maintenance charges were as a result of the cost of buying the machines, installing inverters, maintaining them, and so on.
Olowu said, “I do not blame the Senate because they are representatives of the people and the people are complaining; but they are complaining without knowledge of how the system works.”