Nigeria: Group Urges CBN to Halt Confiscation of Cards Withheld By ATM

Another group urges Nigerians to dismiss allegations the federal government recently printed N60 billion to make up for allocations made to the states monthly.

A Non Governmental Organisation, the Consumer Initiative, has appealed to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to abolish the confiscation of cards withheld by Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in commercial banks.

Aliyu Ilias, Executive Director of the group, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said commercial banks operating in the country had been confiscating cards belonging to customers of other banks seized by their ATMs.

"We received complaints from bank customers on the issue and this was further verified through a survey.

"Commercial banks have over the years perfected and operated a system of confiscation of cards including but not limited to credit and debit cards.

"These belong to customers of other banks used on their ATMs and same withheld by the banks.

"This practice put in place by commercial banks in Nigeria ultimately forced cardholders to request and to pay for issuance of new cards by their respective banks," Mr Ilias said.

He said that the practice had placed heavy burden on bank customers and cardholders.

He said the withholding of cards by ATMs was not most of the times, the fault of customers, cardholders or users as the case may be, adding that, it was usually due to ATMs fault or poor connectivity from the banks.

"Why then should the customer or cardholder be made to bear the brunt of applying and paying for a new card?

"A customer who has been frustrated due to service failure upon which his card is withheld and possibly not meeting his financial needs as at when due is further put through harrowing experience," he said.

He added that it would make such customers incur more financial and logistic burdens of obtaining new cards.

'N60 billion printing'

Meanwhile, another group, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, has urged Nigerians to dismiss allegations made by the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, that the federal government recently printed N60 billion to make up for allocations made the states monthly.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has dismissed the claim.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, in his reaction said the government was 'right to print money and lend the government". '

But the group led by Bassey Williams, on Wednesday in Abuja said it wanted to "correct the falsehood been peddled by some individuals and some political parties regarding the printing of N60 billion".

"The issues raised by Gov Obaseki and others; alleging that N60 billion was printed by CBN and the federal government to augment for the March, 2021 FAAC allocation, is orchestrated by enemies of Government just to whittle down the confidence Nigerians have in the government and her effort to invigorate the economy," the group said.

It also said, "reports made available to us reveals that going by the money FAAC share, the funds are monies generated and domiciled in the federation account, and is usually shared to the states every month."

"There was no evidence that the March allocation was borrowed which contradicts the claims of those saying March allocation money was printed. We further discovered that all the states owe the CBN. These monies are bailout funds given to them to cushion the effects of the difficulties experienced by the governors in their bid to deliver on good governance."

It added that "we don't need such distractions at this time when the country is facing much insecurity and hunger in the country. We need patriotic interventions and we equally expect progressive contributions towards developing and governing the Nigerian polity."

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