I am not an economist or even a financial analyst. I am a storyteller, and today I want to tell the story about why I think the Nigerian economy is shabby and in shambles. The reason is not farfetched, it’s quite simple and basic. Efficiency. Accountability. Responsibility.
The Nigerian banking sector is said to be worth a whopping $68 as at December 2020. That means, it is worth more now. However, it remains one of the most ineffective capitalist establishments in the world. For years, lots of Nigerian banks are known for fleecing innocent customers through incessant and unnecessary account charges that have no basis. N10 here, N20 there and N50 there. The charges just keep coming indiscriminately.
However, the ‘corporate robbery’ by Nigerian banks seems to be only getting out of hand lately, as more and more Nigerians are crying out on account of failed transactions.
I thought that I was the only one who has complained about Nigerian banks, until I began to see that of others online. The numerous complaints are so mind boggling to comprehend. Why and how can such atrocious scams continue to happen within Nigerian banks, and it is still not checkmated?
Come to think of it, banks are independent entities established with already set rules and regulations, the centre of which is to safeguard and protect their customers’ funds. However, it is doubtful if safeguarding customers’ funds is at the epicentre of Nigerian banks.
Yes, everyone is in business to make profit, we all know that. But profit should not be at the expense of customers who the establishment is meant to serve.
GTbank came on stream in February 1999 to provide individuals, businesses, private and public institutions across Africa and the United Kingdom with a broad range of market-leading financial products and services. It was the first to provide digital banking services hence had a lot of goodwill and acceptance amongst the Nigerian populace and beyond. GTbank was the first Nigerian bank to encourage its customers to embrace digital banking.
Regrettably, today GTbank has failed to secure the same digital space it created for its customers to use, thereby translating to financial losses that it has refused to take responsibility for.
After having several failed transactions with no reversal, and uncountable calls to Gtconnect without response 0700482866328.
I contacted GTbank online to lodge a complaint in July 2021. Unfortunately, I got a response from a scammer instead. And by the end of several days of correspondence, the scammer succeeded in clearing out my account to zero. I reported the matter the same day, and the transaction was traced to a Lagos based paystack account by the operations staff. They gave me a timeline of two weeks, after which they said I’d get feedback about the missing money, well, two weeks turned into 45 working days, which eventually turned into 90 working days.
It took me a while to understand that I am not alone in this. Several other Nigerians, especially those with small savings, have unresolved issues that banks are not interested in solving much less take responsibility.
The other week, I saw a friend’s post on Facebook talking about how her brother’s bank in the UK refunded him money lost to scam. It reminded me of my own experience in 2019. I was repeating a course that required payment and was getting anxious about how I would meet up with that.
As an international student working on 20 hours of work per week, my income was not sufficient to pay for the course I was repeating, my upkeep and save for my return home. I was worried and anxious about how I was going to meet up with all the financial obligations staring me in the face in a foreign land.
I am a complete novice to the forex trading, internarial stock market and everything that concerns the financial market. But after a friend encouraged me to learn forex trading, I began researching online and that was how I met EverFx. Under the leadership and mentorship of an account officer assigned to me, I invested and traded with them for three months under their guidance before realising that they are a scam investment company. But by then, I had lost my entire savings. But guess what? Less than a year later, I got refunded after full investigation and due diligence was carried out.
This is one of the several reasons I will always respect English society and its organisations. The UK is not a perfect country; far from it. But it is a society that is governed by strong laws which are pro people. It is a society that protects the interest of its people.
Santander Bank would easily have refused to refund me, but they understood that I was just a gullible student who fell prey to an unsuspecting scam and were magnanimous enough to return my money. It is such act of accepting responsibility and accountability that builds a strong economy, and not large dividends and bogus declarations of profit which Nigerian banks are good at.
GTbank can very easily refund my lost funds if it wanted to, but I guess such magnanimity and honour is beyond it.
Nigerian banks and all agencies regulating it should and must do better.
Jiddare writes from Abuja.
Credit: BluePrint News
By: Hawwah Jiddare