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Stop ₦65 Maintenance & Other Illicit Charges – Senate Admonishes CBN

THE Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the automated teller machine (ATM) maintenance charges of ₦65 being deducted from customers account and to prevail on commercial banks to configure their machines to dispense ₦40,000 per withdrawal.

The resolutions were made at the Senate plenary session on Wednesday after a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers’ accounts, was introduced by Olugbenga Ashafa, Senator representing the Lagos East.

The motion titled “Illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers accounts with particular focus on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges” was discussed broadly at the upper legislative chambers.

Deputy Speaker Ike Ekweremadu who seconded the motion indicated that the ATM charge is not the only charge people get from the commercial banks, but also some VAT charges which he said were unacceptable. He added that Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria was not living up to expectations.

While addressing the motion, Senate President Bukola Saraki said that the motion affects the lives of Nigerians. “After 25-years, we should have grown out of these excessive charges and moved on. So, I believe this is something that we must address to create an environment that protects all Nigerians,” Saraki said.

To curb the illicit charges of the commercial banks on customers, the Senate has thereby urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers account.

The Senate has resolved on the below:

  1. Direct the Committees on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.
  2. Mandate the Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to invite the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to appear before the Committee in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks;
  3. Urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers account as well as instructing the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.
  4. Urge the Consumer Protection Council to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.