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CBN urged to protect bank customers against sharp practices

A security consultant, Williams Fadoju, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to rise to its responsibility of protecting the rights of bank customers against sharp practices by most banks

Fadoju said on Sunday in Ibadan that such practices by Nigerian banks were eroding customers’ confidence in banking, warning that “if the issue is not properly addressed, it would further affect the nation’s integrity.”

He was commenting on a publication by one of the first generation banks over reports of two thousand customers, who refused to return their Business Travel Allowance (BTA) and Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) after returning to Nigeria.

PTA and BTA are currency exchange schemes specifically set up for Nigerians travelling abroad for personal or business reasons.

The London-trained security expert decried the arbitrary charges of customers by the commercial banks in Nigeria against the international financial best practices.

“It is only in Nigeria that banks take arbitrary charges for transferring money or receiving money. I am sure it does not happen elsewhere.

“So, let the CBN stop the arbitrary charges and allow Nigerians to enjoy their hard-earned savings in the custody of these banks,” Fadoju said.

Read also: Experts advocate integrated ICT broadband for effective security in Nigeria

On PTA/BTA, he said that travellers were required to return the purchased PTA/BTA to their banks within two weeks from the date of purchase, if not used.

“But, I can tell you that some Nigerians will not even travel and will not also return the purchase. I travelled a lot and one of the things you enjoyed while travelling is the duty-free shop, but you can only enjoy the duty-free shop when you present your boarding pass.

“So, if you want to purchase goods worth $2000 fine, but you must provide the boarding pass because that is what entitles you to that benefit at the duty-free shop.

“What you will probably buy for 100 euro at the airport can be bought at 82 euro at the duty-free as the same product.

“The CBN can use the same yardstick as a stepping stone or as a ladder for any Nigerian or any intending travellers that wants to travel out, because banks will not name all their customers that did not return this money,” he said.

Fadoju said some influential people in the country would not allow the banks to name all the culprits who continue with their illegal dealings.

Fadoju urged Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor to ensure that local banks do not give out cash, but rather travellers who met the requirement should be given a reference number to use at their local banks since they are interconnected.

“As of today, Emefiele will write his name in gold, if he does the needful by heeding to advice,’’ he said.

He suggested that the travellers should be allowed to go to their local banks, just the way we do now and register through there for BTA or PTA.

“Whatever you want to buy, do the dealings with your local bank,” the expert said.

Fadoju added that the banks should stop issuing hard currencies to the travellers and should not deny the local banks cash and dollars.

“Let all the banks, as a matter of urgency, have their branches in all the international airports in Nigeria.

“If I have met all the requirements in my local bank, rather than the bank giving me dollars, the bank should give me a certificate of approval with a reference number.

“This is what I will take to my bank at any branch since technology has made it so easy, unlike in the past when it was an analogue system of banking.

“And, once every passenger gets the boarding pass with a certificate of approval, including international passport, that can be used to get the BTA/PTA,” he said.

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