By JOHNMARK UKOKO
Long queues returned to Nigerian banks, yesterday, as customers spent hours before being attended to after the Easter celebrations. The situation may have been caused by systems failure and power outage that lingered throughout the Easter break.
Investigation by The Trumpet in some branches of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Access Bank, First Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTCO) and Zenith Bank, among others in Ikorodu, Ikotun, Ikeja and other parts of Lagos State showed that customers spent at least two hours before they were allowed into the banking halls and another two hours in the long queue before they were able to do any transactions.
Findings showed that in some of the banks visited that have about specs for 10 cashers only four or five were on their seat attending to the huge customers.
The worst hit were customers who went to the customer service personnel to sort out issues of debit without cash dispense on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sales (PoS) terminals due to network failure.
A customer, who identified himself as Austin Jombo, said he used his UBA Bank ATM card on an Ecobank ATM, was debited immediately to the tune of N10,000, but the machine failed to dispense the cash, adding that he did the failed transaction since Friday, but up till yesterday, it had not reverted, which was why he went to his bank to register the failed transaction, which took him several hours.
It was also observed that some branches that usually have four or five customer service personnel now have either one or two, which led to serious delays in attending to customers.
A man who identified himself as Benson Okoro told The Trumpet that a customer of Access Bank collapsed last week at their Ojota branch after about three hours of standing just to withdraw some cash.
Okoro said while customers of the bank on queue were running around to resuscitate the man, employees of the bank showed no concern over the plight of the customer, as they went about their normal business.
Findings also indicated that most of the banks have sacked most of their workers, which also contributed to the pressure on the remaining staff members.
It was further learnt that most of the experienced hands have been disengaged and as such, the new remaining ones with little or no experience continue to do their best for the teeming customers due to the banks’ quest to improve their bottom line in an increasingly harsh economic and operating environment.