The Enugu House of Assembly has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other financial regulatory authorities to look into the activities of commercial banks operating in Nigeria, especially in Enugu State, with regards to charges on customers’ transactions, and stop the multiplicity of charges which they impose on customers’ accounts.
This was sequel to a motion moved at plenary by the sponsor, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, representing Nsukka East Constituency, which was seconded by Hon. Iloabuchi Aniagu, representing Nkanu West Constituency.
Nwamba said the need for the motion arose out of the myriads of complaints he received from residents 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.”
The lawmaker said the unwarranted charges ranged from “transaction alert, interbank withdrawal charge, card maintenance charge, charge for withdrawals above certain limits, on-line 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 decried.
According to him, banks arbitrarily slam charges on customers based on independent bank policy, and not on uniform basis as it 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.
Aniagu, had, while seconding the motion, noted that banks were also neck-deep in hidden charges, especially in the area of loan facilities, a situation deserving the attention of the CBN.
After commending the members for a robust debate and passage of the motion, the Speaker 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 stated.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday passed the State’s 2018 Appropriation Bill, totalling over N103.563 billion into law.
The budget is an additional increase of N5billion over the N98billion earlier proposed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.