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Enugu Lawmakers Tackle Commercial Banks Over Arbitrary Charges, Deductions

From Ignatius Okpara

ENUGU, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Enugu State House of Assembly has slammed commercial banks operating in the state over alleged outrageous and unwarranted charges being imposed on customers, calling on the nation’s apex bank, the Central bank of Nigeria, CBN to intervene.

Moving a motion during its plenary on the issue, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, representing Nsukka East Constituency, said the need for the motion which was seconded by Hon. Iloabuchi Aniagu, representing Nkanu West Constituency, arose out of myriads of complaints he was receiving from residents of the state over the activities of Banks operating in the state.

He said: “there is no gainsaying the obvious fact that a high percentage of Nigeria citizens are living below poverty line. The indices are there and points to the above fact.

“Therefore, it will be absurd to allow commercial banks operating in Nigeria, especially Enugu State to continue to add to the pains of the people by way of imposing unwarranted charges on every transaction carried out by their customers.”

Nwamba further noted that the unwarranted charges ranged from “transaction alert, interbank withdrawal charge, card maintenance charge, charge for withdrawals above certain limits, online transfer charges, among others.”

“It is even more annoying that the banks do not inform or solicit the customer’s consent. All they do is to charge you what they care, deduct same and at the end of the month, charge you again for what they call monthly charges”, he lamented.

According to him, observation showed that the banks slam charges on customers based on independent bank policy and not on uniform basis as it was used to be.

“For instance, it is not what bank A charges for online transfer that bank B charges for same volume or transaction, yet the same commercial banks are expected to operate under the same rules and regulations”, he noted.

All the lawmakers who commented on the issue said it was high time the CBN intervened to save helpless Nigerians from such exploitation.

The seconder of the motion had while doing so, lamented that the banks were also neck-deep in hidden charges, especially in the area of loan facilities, a situation he said deserved the attention of the apex Bank.

The House, therefore, urged the CBN and other Financial Regulatory Authorities “to look into the activities of the commercial banks operating in Nigeria, especially in Enugu State with regards to the charges on customers’ transactions and stop the multiplicity of charges which they impose on customers’ accounts.”

In his remarks, after commending the members for a robust debate and passage of the motion, the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi described it as “a serious matter.”

He announced that the House would set up a committee, which would hold public hearings and come up with more measures.

“The committee will have one month to conduct public hearings; even if it entails going to the National Assembly, they should do so, in order to put this to an end”, the Speaker said.

 

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