Benin residents experience miserable Christmas
Benin residents experienced a miserable 2018 Christmas as long queues surfaced at bank cash points known as the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Points of Sale (PoS) in Benin City, Edo capital, according to checks.
Most of the machines had failed to dispense cash during the Yuletide with scores of residents returning home disappointed.
Some of the respondents who spoke in separate interviews with NAN on Wednesday described the situation as frustrating and unfortunate.
According to them, most of the machines in the city have not been dispensing cash since Friday night, a situation which has resulted in spending long hours in the queue at the few ATMs that were working.
Mr Peter Ojo, who said he was unable to get cash from the machines he visited on Friday night, regretted that the situation had not changed as at Christmas morning.
“It is a very `funny’ thing that the banks did not make contingency plans for a period like this,” he told NAN.
For Mr Osagie Mathew, he said had been in the queue since 6.00 a.m. on Wednesday waiting to cash money for the Christmas celebration.
He said: “I have been to more than six ATM machines of different banks but the same thing applies to all: unable to dispense cash.
“It is like a deliberate plan by all the banks to deprive their customers of cash withdrawals during holiday.
“What we are experiencing now was just what happened during the last Christmas and Easter celebrations where we had to contend with the failure of ATMs and fuel scarcity.”
A journalist, Osagie Omorogieva, said he trekked several kilometres to Akpakpava road, moving from one machine to another.
“I tell you, it was all a futile effort as I could not get any of the machines that was dispensing cash in the long stretch of Akpakpava road.
“The only two ATM machines at Diamond Bank and Union Bank that were dispensing cash was like a market place,” he said.
NAN reports that the situation is not different at the ATM machines on both Airport road and Sapele road.
A security guard at a new generation bank on Sapele road, who did not want his name in print, appealed to customers to exercise patience, saying the officials of the bank are already addressing the challenges to restore normalcy.
“I’m sure the people responsible will come and look into this problem before the end of today.
“I can tell you that the rush for cash by customers is largely responsible for this problem. But it will be sorted out soon,” he promised.
Apart from the ATMs, most PoS centres were unable to attend to their customers’ needs due to network failure.
A motorist, Mr John Omoruyi who described the situation as “appalling”, said he went to NNPC mega station with the hope of using their PoS to buy fuel but he could not get the transaction through owing to network problems.
“They had network problem and I couldn’t buy fuel.
“This is not just peculiar to the filling station as my friend also had a similar experience in one of the supermarkets where he was unable to make purchases due to the failure of PoS.”