The Senate has passed a resolution calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers.
The Senate made this known via a tweet @SPNigeria. This resolution came as part of a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers’ accounts, sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa (Lagos East, APC).
The Senate also called on commercial banks operating in the country to configure their machines to dispense up to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the Senate committees tasked with investigating the excessive and illicit bank charges.
Speaking on the Motion, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said: “This is a motion that affects the lives of every Nigerian?—?irrespective of what part of the country you come from or whatever political affiliation you might have. This is why we are here: to always defend and protect the interests of the Nigerian people.”
“This Senate has done this many times before; when there was a hike in the mobile telecommunication data charges, we intervened and put an end to that. When there were discrepancies and increases in electricity prices, we also took action. We have done this on a number of similar cases. Therefore, on this, I want us to take effective resolutions.”.
Other Senators who contributed to the debate, called on banks to review their charges.
The Senate further directed its Committees on Banking, Insurance & other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.
The Senate also directed the aforementioned committees to invited the Governor of the CBN to appear before it to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.
Finally, the Senate called on the Consumer Protection Council to look into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.