The Nigerian Senate has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to direct commercial banks to increase the maximum amount customers can withdraw from automated teller machines (ATMs) to N40,000 per transaction.
The Senate also asked the CBN to suspend ATM card maintenance fees.
The Red Chamber directed its committees on banking and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges and to also invite the governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele to explain why the charges are allegedly positioned in favour of the banks.
The resolution of the Senate came after a motion sponsored by Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) who said the CBN is becoming “insensitive” to the plight of Nigerians.
Contributing to the debate on the motion, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said, “If we have institutions in Nigeria, they should make sure to do their jobs to protect Nigerians.
“Banks should have recognisable charges to let customers know what they are up against.”
On his part, Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “This is a motion that touches on the lives of every Nigerian irrespective of what party you belong to or political affiliation you might have and that is why we are here, to always defend and protect the interest of our people.
“We need to look at ways to ensure that our resolutions go beyond just the debates — so that whatever action we take will come into effect.”
The motion was adopted by the Senate after it was put to a voice vote by Saraki.
Saraki also stated that the Senate must work to ensure that the Senate’s resolutions on the excessive bank charges go beyond the debate stage so that whatever action the Upper Legislative Chamber takes, would come into effect.
The Senate ended this calling on the Consumer Protection Council to look into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.