Account holders in various banks in Abuja and Nasarawa State, yesterday, besieged banks in apparent efforts to make withdrawals at multiple channels ahead of the public holidays starting today, the Daily Trust has observed.
Our reporter who visited banks at Mararaba, in Nasarawa State, observed long queues at First Bank of Nigeria, Guranty Trust, Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity and Zenith banks.
Some customers expressed their frustrations over network failures and the inability of most ATMs in dispensing cash.
A customer, Mr Onadipe Kolade, who is a retired civil servant, said that he had gone to more than five banks around the area and neighouring Abuja’s Nyanya town before he could make his withdrawal.
“I had to roam around banks about 10 kilometres afar to make withdrawals because of the queues, it was a mad rush everywhere,” he said.
The issue, a bank official at the GTBank branch of Jabi, Abuja said, was compounded by the early closure of most banks ahead of the Eid el-Fitr celebration.
Our reporter observed long queues at the banking halls and ATMs in many parts of Abuja.
The GTBank at Jabi had long queues at both the ATMs and in the banking hall.
However, out of the seven ATM point s at the bank, only three were dispensing cash.
There were also significant queues at the United Bank of Africa Plc, First Bank and Diamond Bank Plc branches located at the Wuse Area of Abuja.
FCMB zone four Abuja also witnessed significant queues.
Many customers at the banks said they were making withdrawals that could sustain them through the festivity.
Haliru Musa who was at the ATM point of Jabi’s GTBank, said: “I am travelling to Kano to celebrate the Sallah with my family. I need cash to spend and to also last me throughout the holidays.
“During holidays, the ATMs will suddenly run dry, throwing people into frustration since they can’t access cash to pay their bills,” he said.
Meanwhile, our correspondent in Lagos State said that on the average about 20 people were seen queuing along ATM points at Ikeja.
A staff of one of the old generation banks, who spoke in confidence, said: “We did not observe the usual half-day working instruction so people did not feel the need to rush into the banks for quick withdrawal.”
A bank customer at Marina, Lagos, Ese Ibilo, said that the celebration? would be low-keyed because of the economic situation.
“It is not strange to see that the banking hall is not overflowing with people, times are hard and people are barely managing to survive,” she said.