CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor
By James Emejo
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday clarified that the recent announcement on the suspension of the N100 charge on the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) was a decision by the banks and not its directive as widely speculated.
Speaking exclusively with THISDAY via telephone, against the backdrop of public anxiety over the seeming tardiness by banks to comply with the announcement, CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, said the banks agreed to give back to their customers by way of removing the N100 charge.
According to him, the CBN had only encouraged the banks to put their customers into consideration and make access to financial services more affordable to them.
The CBN Director said the apex bank could not enforce compliance or sanction the banks for the delay in the stoppage of the charge since it didn’t issue a directive to that effect.
Almost all the banks still charge other banks’ customers for transactions on their ATMs.
“We charge if you use other banks’ cards on us,” a staff in one of the banks told THISDAY in confidence.
THISDAY, however, gathered that the banks have embarked on high level discussion to devise a means of sharing the cost of the removal among themselves.
Nevertheless, the Bankers’ Committee has been blamed for misleading Nigerians with the announcement.
It had announced earlier this month after its regular meeting that the N100 ATM charge on ‘other banks’ would be suspended with immediate affect when modalities for bearing the cost among the banks were yet to be fashioned out.
The Bankers’ Committee had explained that the resolve to halt further charges on ATM usage was borne out of the realisation that globally, such charges do not exist.