Senate Moves To Curb Illicit And Excessive Bank Charges

The Senate has on Wednesday passed a resolution to curb illicit and excessive bank charges by calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers.

The decision to suspend was based on the motion of the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers accounts sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East, APC.



At the Plenary session, the Senate also directed 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 resolution, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said, ” For me, this is a major step that we have taken. This is because while in the private sector, I introduced the first ATM machine, which came into Nigeria over 25 years ago. All these years later, I believe that we should have grown out of these exorbitant charges.

This is why I believe that today’s resolution is necessary, because it affects every Nigerian — irrespective of what part of the country you come from or whatever political affiliation you might have.
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”

Similarly, it was also decided that the Senate Committees on Banking, Insurance & other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation by comparing ATM card maintenance with international best practices.

The Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele was ordered to appear before the upper chamber to explain why the official charges favored the banking institutions over customers.

The Consumer Protection Council was also directed to look into consumers complaints about excess.



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