Bank Customers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed satisfaction with the reliable services by Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as they made withdrawals and other transactions in preparation for the New Year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were relatively little or no queues in many ATM points in Abuja and its environs.
This was quite different from the scenario that played out before and during the Christmas.
Many customers at ATM points of many commercial banks around Asokoro and the Nyanya-Keffi road expressed delight that network was stable and the machines were dispensing cash.
An elated customer, Mr Mathew Ayoola, who said he spent more than three hours on the queue on Dec 24, commended the banks for being responsive and proactive to customers’ needs.
“I think the banks authorities heard what we passed through during Christmas Eve, and they decided to put things in proper shape before the New Year.
“This afternoon, I just walked in and withdrew money within some few minutes.
“The situation is the same in almost all the ATM points around this road, and everybody is happy,’’ he said.
In Karu, bank customers’ beamed with smiles as they made withdrawal and other transactions without hitches.
NAN observed that most ATM points were dispensing cash, though with short queues.
Some residents of Karu shared their thoughts on the development.
Kelechi Onuoha, a trader said he was happy that banks decided to improve upon their services to enable customers withdraw money without stress in preparation for the New Year.
“Salaries had not been paid by Christmas so many people had to take money from their alternative accounts via ATMs.
“With high demand for cash to celebrate the Christmas and many machines not working, there were many long queues but that is all gone today.
“I am happy that banks took correction and made adjustments for the New Year celebration,’’ she said.
Chinenye Obi, a house wife, said “I came out early expecting to meet a long queue but I was surprised to see few people here’’.
“I can now comfortably take the necessary cash I need without having people screening behind me when I want to make withdrawals.
“I have promised my children a lovely outing so this is great.
“Abuja residents will definitely have a good New year celebration.
However, the situation was a bit different in neighbouring Nasarawa State, bounded to the FCT as most of the ATMs in the area witnessed high patronage.
NAN checks saw many customers trying to make last minute withdraw.
At Union Bank located at New Nyanya Junction in Karu Local Government Area, many customers were seen on long queues.
Out of the eight ATMs owned by the bank, only two were dispensing cash to customers.
Mr Timothy Idoko, a civil servant told NAN that he got his salary alert on Friday and so decided to withdraw some cash.
“I got my salary alert yesterday night and I am here to withdraw so as to celebrate New Year with my family.
“We did not travel; you know how the economy is now, so I will just withdraw small to celebrate small.
“The queue is long because only two machines are paying, but I believe I will get money today,’’ Idoko said.
NAN also reports that a female preacher from the Lord Chosen Church was preaching, while customers were making withdrawals.
The situation was not much different at Access Bank in Mararaba as the bank’s ATM gallery was filled and the queue extended to outside the gallery.
Out of the 10 ATMs, only four were servicing customers.
Mr Bitrus Bahago, a business man told NAN that the limited ATMs working were responsible for the crowd.
“If all the 10 ATMs are working, this long queue will not be there.
“Maybe the bank don’t have enough money to put in the machines,” Bahago said.
Another customer Mrs Mary Abashi said that she had been on the queue for close to an hour.
“People are too much here; I was at Diamond Bank near Royal Dream Hotel, that one is zero
“Maybe because other banks ATMs around Mararaba are not working, that is why people come here.
“Whether queue or no queue, I will celebrate New Year by God’Grace, Abashi said.
NAN recalls that long queues were seen for several hours across ATM centres in Abuja and its environs on Dec. 24, the eve of Christmas.
The long queues started building up on Dec. 23.
Some of the ATMs had unstable network, while others were completely ‘out of service’, and others were ‘unable to dispense cash’