By Jonathan Ugbal and Christiana Alawa
For over three consecutive months, long queues have continuously greeted the Automated Teller Machines ATM’s of different banks in Obudu local government area always creating ugly scenarios amongst other things.
There are three new generation banks in the local government with each having just one branch. One of the banks was attacked by armed robbers last year and have since covered the gaps between the holes in its metal fence as well as shutting down ATM operations forcing customers to use the other two.
One of the remaining two banks has a total of eight installed ATM’s with only a maximum of two functionally dispensing cash over 90 percent of the time while only two out of three in the other bank dispense cash most of the time.
This, coupled with the migration of customers from one of the banks which had its branch in Vandeikya local government of Benue state attacked by armed robbers has continuously caused long queues in the ATM’s.
When CrossRiverWatch contacted one of the banks to find out why they were yet to take any noticeable action to reduce the stress customers undergo to get their money with waiting usually at the minimum, 1 to 2 hours under the mercy of the weather, staff were reluctant to speak on the issue with a few giving the excuse “Ever since the incident of February 19 in Vandeikya, over 70 percent of customers migrated down here”. They however failed to state why only two out of eight machines were functioning optimally.
At the other bank, staff also claimed the robbery incidents in two banks close by had created the problem.
The queues continue even into the banking halls with staff providing no reason why it was that way.
Monday April 13 might just not be easily forgotten as no ATM functioned till around 5pm. yet “people still queued just hoping a miracle will happen” says Celestina Adie.
“The frustrations are growing by the day, one only wonders the future of customers of this banks, one even claims it puts customers first but the reverse is the issue, let relevant authorities do something about this” says a civil servant who simply gave his name as Unimke.
The bank attacked by robbers in Vandeikya has transferred its staff down to its branch in Obudu with no hope of reopening soon and no known plans by all three financial institutions to add more ATM’s or open new branches, the question is, will this trend change anytime soon?
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