Emmanuel Onwubiko: Nigerian banks are pen robbers


 

Daddy NaetoChukwu! Goes the lovely echoes of my name since becoming a Dad five years back.

Then knowing the familiar lovely voice to be from my Wife, I responded. Then she narrated her ordeals with the banks and how they gradually fleece and incrementally rob her of her deposits in the name of different charges once a transaction no matter how insignificant is conducted in these banks. The banks operate like organised criminal gangs.

My Wife Ugo was obviously not happy at the exploitative nature of the commercial banks in Nigeria and strongly canvassed a reformation of this awkward banking formula. I stood speechless and looked at her with consolation.

I was lost of words at first but rapidly regained my balance and control of my faculties before my emotions get a better of me.

Not knowing how to comprehensively console her, I then delivered to her my own version of similar experiences with the banks and we then expressed collective grief that the Central bank of Nigeria under the current administration has been turned into a tax collector charged with the harsh mandate of stealing from the poor to enrich the few elites and those in political offices who are the set of privileged Nigerians that corner the substantial amount of the nation’s Wealth for doing next to nothing but collude with their fronts in the organised private sector to collectively deal with the citizens.

These banks robbing us are the same that go cap-in-hand begging newly elected national legislators to collect loans from their vaults so as to settle down in the expensive Federal Capital Territory ruled by incompetent bunch of ministers.

But they collude with the politically tainted administrators of the Central Bank of Nigeria to consistently device dubious means to steal from depositors.

We were actually in the middle of this debate when I got a message from the Daily Trust Foundation and I opened the mail to read only to discover to my amazement that it is an article expressing strong disapproval of the same topic of exploitation of the citizens by the banks.

There is a widespread disenchantment amongst Nigerians that these criminal taxation by commercial banks in Nigeria with the backing of the ruthlessly inefficient Central Bank of Nigeria is a scheme to impoverish the people and expose them to the vicissitudes of economic adversity.

This scholarly and analytical report stated that the few banks in Nigeria have raked in N22 billion just as the depositors are groaning with different types of charges from these banks.

The Daily Trust Foundation stated that Customers of different commercial banks are groaning over excessive charges from their accounts.

The financial institutions known as Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), says the Daily Trust Foundation in corporate parlance have reportedly introduced different deductions to increase their incomes, a development that did not go down well with customers.

While some customers reluctantly accept stamp duty deduction, others spoken to said that additional charges for maintaining a bank account were unbearable.

A recent attempt by one of the commercial banks (Access Bank) to recover three months of stamp duty from its customers sparked an outrage, which eventually forced the bank to jettison the effort and reverse the deductions already made.

Apart from stamp duty, bank customers also pay Value Added Tax (VAT) charges applicable to all vatable transactions in their accounts. The VAT rate stands at 7.5 percent in compliance with the Finance Act.”

This report, brief as it is, had clearly offered a bird’s eye view of the ordeals that Nigerians go through in the hands of these banks by way of multiple charges just as the Central Bank of Nigeria and the President, Major General Muhammadu (as he then was) are colluding and actually doing nothing to ameliorate this grave economic exploitation of the people of Nigeria.

Then there is this other side to these practices of exploitation by these finance institutions which brings us to the inquiry on the functions and responsibilities of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

My search proved successful.

Here are the fundamental functions of CBN as recorded by NigerianInfoPedia.

The 10 Major Functions of the Central Bank of Nigeria reported by Ibukun Italoye on September 28, 2019 are: (1) CBN prints money, the writer said this is the first main function of the central bank is the printing of Nigeria’s currency.

Not only to print but to also ensure that the money is evenly distributed throughout the country, the writer explained.

Orim Promise

Posted Jul 29th, 2020

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