17 March 2013, Abuja – The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the structure and composition of approved bank charges on all accounts in Nigeria. The resolution followed a motion by Rep. Babatunde Kazeem (ACN-Lagos), which was adopted when put to vote by the Speaker, Rep. Aminu Tambuwal.
The motion is entitled: “Urgent Need to stop Nigerian Banks from Introducing N100 Monthly Maintenance Fee.” Kazeem said that following the scrapping of N100 withdrawal charges on Automated Teller Machines (ATM) by the Banker’s Committee, some banks were planning to introduce monthly maintenance fee on ATM cards.
According to the lawmaker, the First Bank of Nigeria has informed its customers that they will be paying a monthly maintenance fee on their cards with effect from March 2013. He also said that the banker’s committee, during a meeting in November 2012, had scrapped the N100 interbank charges on the use of ATM cards.
The legislator further said that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria had said that customers would no longer pay N100 on withdrawals on ATM whenever customers used banks other than theirs.
He had said that this was to take effect from Dec. 17, 2012. Kazeem expressed concern that if this maintenance fee was introduced, it would cause untold hardship on bank customers.
Speaking in support of the motion, Rep. Abiodun Awoleye (ACN-Oyo) said the N100 charge for the use of ATM under the guise of maintenance charge by some banks was an exploitation of Nigerians.
He said that the charge was also against the CBN’s cashless policy. He expressed concern that if the maintenance fee was allowed, the banks would continue to introduce other charges.
In his contribution in support of the motion, Rep. Aminu Suleiman (PDP-Kano) said that it was important that the relevant committee of the house should look into the matter. Rep. Hassan Saleh (PDP-Benue) urged committee on banking and currency to ensure that “the right thing is done”. This, he said, was to guard against innocent customers being charged arbitrarily.