Frustration As ATMS Refuse To Dispense Cash 

​Deposit Money Bank (DMB) customers across the country have decried lack of money in many Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), during the public holidays for Christmas festival and Boxing Day as they besieged banks to withdraw funds for the celebrations.

Customers of various commercial banks in Lagos, Delta and Ogun states were submerged in throbs and frustrations following the inability of countless number of ATMs to dispense requested monetary cash during the closure of the banking halls.

Our correspondent who monitored the harrowing experience in Asaba, the state capital, and Oghara, the administrative headquarters of Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, reported that only paltry number of ATMs had enough cash to dispense, while others either paid below the requested amount or totally failed to dispense cash.

It was observed that bank customers moved around virtually all the banks located on the popular Nnebisi road in search of ATMs that were dispensing cash, as mammoth crowd was seen at the Access Bank during the early hours of the day where after series of cash withdrawals, the six ATMs simply displayed “temporary out of service. Please visit one of the other Access Bank Plc ATM centres.”

With palpable streaks of determination and resilience running through their faces, the already dwindling crowd reportedly moved to the Eco Bank where only one ATM dispensed cash at an extremely slow pace.

A visit to the premises of the Skye Bank Plc showed that the bank was totally deserted, while that of the Union Bank Plc had only few frustrated customers who haplessly sat at the front of the ATMs. The case was however different in Diamond, Wema and Fidelity Banks Plc branches which had manageable queues and dispensed cash as requested.

Nonetheless, all the working ATMs in First Bank Plc were flocked by customers who waited in endless queues to make withdraws until the later part of the afternoon when our correspondent left there for another scene.

In Oghara the case was not in any way different as the Eco Bank branch in the town was wholly void of customers following the “temporary out of service” clause displayed on all ATM screens, while a mammoth crowd thronged to the United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc located on the Ajagbodudu road, Ogarefe to utilize the few, machines that positively responded to their financial demands.

Our reporter also reported that most of the customers constantly dished out complaints and blamed the management of the various banks for not adequately attending to their ATMs during the yuletide period when money will be in high demand.

Also, a pregnant woman who was compelled to move on to another bank branch, having fruitlessly made attempts to make withdrawals from some of the banks, accused the management of the affected banks of deliberating reducing the amount of cash in circulation. Although she claimed having extra queues and disappointments are becoming a recurring decimal in banks across the country.

This is just at the commercial banks deny allegations of a cash crunch in the system, but many of their customers in Lagos and Ogun states said they could not withdraw money from the ATMs.

Our correspondent observed long queues in most of the banks’ ATM points across the two states, as most of the banks in different parts of Lagos during holiday witnessed long queues of customers lamenting that they have visited several ATMs since morning but could not withdraw their money.

Some of the banks visited were First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank, and Zenith Bank. Other banks visited were Diamond Bank, Wema Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank, First City Monument Bank and Access Bank across Abule-Egba, Lagos and Sango Ota in Ogun state.

At Wema Bank in the Ifo area of Ogun state, a customer, Mr. Faseluka Akinlowo, said he had been waiting under the sun for more than two hours and had been unable to withdraw money due to the long queue.

“The bank management is aware that Wema Bank is the only commercial bank in this area and ought to have made adequate provision, especially making funds available in ATMs during this festival season,” Akinlowo bemoaned.

Also, a customer of GTB at Sango Ota branch, Mr. Kayode Agunbiade, said that the bank should have made adequate preparation by ensuring that all the ATMs are working effectively because of its huge customer base and the fact that its branch in Abule –Egba had been demolished by the Lagos State government due to the ongoing constructing in the area.

Cc: Dailytimes. Ng

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