The Nigerian Senate has called on the country’s apex financial institution, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by banks in the country.
This directive followed a motion on ‘illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers’ accounts’ raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa during Wednesday’s plenary.
Seconding the motion, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu opined that the ATM charge is not the only tariff imposed on customers by the banks as there were others like VAT.
Describing the development as unacceptable, Ekweremadu said the Senate had informed the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria but they were not living up to expectations.
After much debate and deliberation about the charges on the floor of the Senate, the Upper Chamber directed its committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.
It also mandated the committee to invite the Governor of the CBN to appear before the body in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN were skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against their itnumerous customers.
They also urged the CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers’ accounts and instruct the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to ₦40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.