Saturday, December 3, 2022

Commercial banks as TSA saboteurs, by Auwalu Ibrahim

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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It has become imperative for me to bring to the notice of the federal government, particularly the minister of Finance and the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the unnecessary and avoidable sufferings some commercial banks do cause to Nigerians any time they visit them to make payments into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
I was at the Skye Bank, Katsina Road branch, Kano on January 5, 2017 to make payment of FGC Kano school fees into the TSA but to my disappointment, I was returned unattended to, because I did not generate REMITA Retrieval Reference (RRR) number.
From the SkyBank, I proceeded to a First Bank branch at Kofar Ruwa, Kano to make the payment but was still not attended to. Instead I was told to come the following day between 8-10 am, the only time they attend to the customers who want to make payments into TSA.
The following day, January 6, 2017, I abandoned some important issues in order to meet the time. I first of all branched at Guarantee Trust Bank, Tudun Bojuwa branch, Kano, being closer to my house. As if both SkyBank and First Bank met and resolved with GTBank to worsen my sufferings, GTBank also vehemently refused to collect the payment into the TSA despite the fact that I generated the RRR number. The frustrating and annoying excuse the officer in charge of operations of GTBank gave me was that since I did not have account with them, they would not accept the deposit from me. According to him, “It was a directive from the bank’s management.”
At last, I had to rush to the Kofar Ruwa branch of First Bank, arriving some minutes after 9:00 am where the deposit was accepted.
Therefore, if critically looked at, one could not help but think that these commercial banks do toss Nigerians who go to them for payments into this TSA just to prostrate them and sabotage the federal government’s efforts towards achieving the purpose of creating the account.
Lack of satisfactory answers of following questions, amongst others, have been giving me much worries: why should a bank customer be asked to go and generate RRR number before his deposit into TSA is accepted just as Skye Bank insisted? Is every Nigerian computer literate or owning a computer that he can use to generate the RRR number? Is the internet facility available in every nook and corner of the country? The official operation hours of the commercial banks in Nigeria is between 8:00am to 4:00pm. Why should deposits into TSA be restricted by FirstBank, to only first two hours of the operation period? Is it every Nigerian that is rich enough or has a cause to operate a bank account? Why then should GTBank make it a rule that ONLY her customers can make payments into TSA at her branches?
Commercial banks do not own Nigeria or Nigerians. Hence shouldn’t be allowed to be creating excessive burdens (besides that of spending hours in a scorching sun, in most areas, before transacting business on ATM) by tossing them around simply because they want to make payments into TSA through REMITA.
Nigerians do suffer to raise the money to pay the school fees, commercial banks should therefore not be allowed to make them suffer more, when they come to spend the money simply because they want make lodgment into the TSA.
The hardships which Nigerians do live in is too much that commercial banks must not be left to add salt to the already cancerous wound they are nursing. Commercial banks must be called to order and make them see and accept cash deposits into TSA as a national/business duty that they must accomplish with all willingness, efficiency and courtesy.
I have decided to use this medium to relieve my tension and anger because of my earnest belief that a good samaritan like you will escalate this in order to make it reach to the appropriate authority for the necessary action that will deter the commercial banks from this unethical act of blatant sabotage of the Federal Government policy.
Thank you.
Mr. Ibrahim can be reached via [email protected]
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