Sal­lah: Cus­tomers be­siege banks over counter, ATM with­drawals …Queues at La­gos banks low

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Chris Agabi, Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day (Abuja) & Sun­day Michael Ogwu (La­gos)

Ac­count hold­ers in var­i­ous banks in Abuja and Nasarawa State, yes­ter­day, be­sieged banks in ap­par­ent ef­forts to make with­drawals at mul­ti­ple chan­nels ahead of the pub­lic hol­i­days start­ing to­day, the Daily Trust has ob­served.

Our re­porter who vis­ited banks at Mararaba, in Nasarawa State, ob­served long queues at First Bank of Nige­ria, Gu­ranty Trust, Stan­bic IBTC, Fi­delity and Zenith banks.

Some cus­tomers ex­pressed their frus­tra­tions over net­work fail­ures and the in­abil­ity of most ATMs in dis­pens­ing cash.

A cus­tomer, Mr Onadipe Ko­lade, who is a re­tired civil ser­vant, said that he had gone to more than five banks around the area and neighour­ing Abuja’s Nyanya town be­fore he could make his with­drawal.

“I had to roam around banks about 10 kilo­me­tres afar to make with­drawals be­cause of the queues, it was a mad rush ev­ery­where,” he said. The is­sue, a bank of­fi­cial at the GTBank branch of Jabi, Abuja said, was com­pounded by the early clo­sure of most banks ahead of the Eid el-Fitr cel­e­bra­tion.

Our re­porter ob­served long queues at the bank­ing halls and ATMs in many parts of Abuja.

The GTBank at Jabi had long queues at both the ATMs and in the bank­ing hall.

How­ever, out of the seven ATM point s at the bank, only three were dis­pens­ing cash.

There were also sig­nif­i­cant queues at the United Bank of Africa Plc, First Bank and Diamond Bank Plc branches lo­cated at the Wuse Area of Abuja.

FCMB zone four Abuja also wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant queues.

Many cus­tomers at the banks said they were mak­ing with­drawals that could sus­tain them through the fes­tiv­ity.

Haliru Musa who was at the ATM point of Jabi’s GTBank, said: “I am trav­el­ling to Kano to cel­e­brate the Sal­lah with my fam­ily. I need cash to spend and to also last me through­out the hol­i­days.

“Dur­ing hol­i­days, the ATMs will sud­denly run dry, throw­ing peo­ple into frus­tra­tion since they can’t ac­cess cash to pay their bills,” he said.

Mean­while, our cor­re­spon­dent in La­gos State said that on the av­er­age about 20 peo­ple were seen queu­ing along ATM points at Ikeja.

A staff of one of the old gen­er­a­tion banks, who spoke in con­fi­dence, said: "We did not ob­serve the usual half-day work­ing in­struc­tion so peo­ple did not feel the need to rush into the banks for quick with­drawal.”

A bank cus­tomer at Ma­rina, La­gos, Ese Ibilo, said that the cel­e­bra­tion would be low-keyed be­cause of the economic sit­u­a­tion.

"It is not strange to see that the bank­ing hall is not over­flow­ing with peo­ple, times are hard and peo­ple are barely man­ag­ing to sur­vive," she said.

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