Bank customers in Kano and Kaduna on Saturday expressed frustration at malfunctioning Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and long queues at various banks during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
The customers, who thronged! the banks to withdraw cash for the National holidays, were disappointed as many could not access their money due to various reasons.
A cross section of them told newsmen that the banks should devise means of attending to customers during festivals.
They complained that apart from the long queues, the ATMs broke down often and failed to dispense cash already debited from customers’ accounts.
Malam Haruna Ibrahim, who said he spent about 50 minutes on the queue before making withdrawals at the Stanbic IBTC Bank, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, described the experience as “very frustrating’’.
Ibrahim advised the banks management to establish more ATM points to reduce crowd and meet the needs of customers.
Another customer, Mr John Moses, said he had been in the queue for over an hour, and still waiting for his turn at First City Monument Bank, Sabon Tasha.
“Look at the long queue, but only three ATMs are working; people are being forced to spend hours waiting endlessly just to make withdrawals. But we have no alternative, every ATM you go to is crowded.
“The annoying part is that the long wait is eating up people’s productive hours, particularly our Muslim brothers who need money to go shopping for Sallah, but spend hours here waiting.’’
At Union Bank branch on Yakubu Gowon Way, a customer, Mr Gabriel Peter, said it took him close to an hour before he was able to make withdrawal.
At First Bank, Main Branch on Yakubu Gowon Way, where more than 40 people were seen on queue on Friday to make withdrawals, only two out of the five machines were functioning.
Even the two functional machines sometimes malfunction and debit customers without dispensing cash.
Hadiza Balarabe, whose account was debited but the cash not dispensed, lamented that it was the last money she had in the account.
“There would be Sallah no food in my house if the money is not reverted, “she said.
Similarly, some customers at First Bank main branch in Kano metropolis expressed anger over the failure of the machines to dispense cash.
A customer, Musa Liman, said he had been waiting under the sun for more than 30 minutes and had not been able to withdraw money.
“The bank is aware of the usual chaos and sufferings encountered during every festivity and ought to have made adequate arrangements by providing enough money,” he said.
Isa Danladi, a businessman, urged the banks to provide more machines to ease the suffering of customers.
“We are not supposed to be stressing ourselves with this unnecessary queue, I am appealing to the banks to provide additional machines as some of the machines here are not only faulty but obsolete and outdated,” he said.
Bola Suleiman, a customer with Sterling Bank waited for hours to make withdrawals.
She said: “I am not happy about the way the banks are operating, especially when salaries are paid or during holidays.
“This is not fair; they should provide adequate functional machines to avoid unnecessary delays.”
However, a bank manager, who preferred anonymity, said the management was aware of the challenges and trying to look into the problems with a view to solving them.
“We will make things easy for our customers. We are making efforts to provide new ATMs in our branches not only here in Kano but across the country,” he said.
Mr Usman Yusuf of Customer Service Unit, Ecobank, France Road, Kano, said “Our ATMs are always loaded with cash as such our customers have no problem.
“The machines do not limit other banks and do not charge until after the third withdrawal with the sum of N65.
“The bank’s security personnel and mobile policemen are always around the ATMs to ensure security of customers and orderliness during public holidays. The ATMs are being monitored by cameras to check fraudsters and other criminals.’’