KUNLE ADESUJI, Abuja
Senate on Wednesday asked Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers.
The decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who expressed dissatisfaction with excessive charges by commercial banks in the country.
The Senate also called on commercial banks operating in the country to configure their machines to dispense up to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the Senate committees tasked with investigating the excessive and illicit bank charges.
Leading debate on the motion, Ashafa said that most banks have deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal adding this is deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine.
In his words,” Most banks deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal at the ATM.
“This is a deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine which are ordinarily manufactured to dispense as much as N40,000 per transaction, in order to attract more bank charges from customers who are forced to carry out more transactions due to the manipulated machines.”
Contributing to the debate on the motion, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, said the numerous charges by the banks are unacceptable.
He said, “if we have institutions in Nigeria, they should make sure to do their jobs to protect Nigerians.”
At the end of the debate on the motion, Senate directed its standing committees on Banking Insurance & other Financial Institutions and Finance to probe excessive charges by commercial banks through the usage of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card in comparison with international best practices.
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