Long queues have surfaced at bank cash points known as the Automated Teller Machines and Points of Sale in Benin City, Edo State, according to a News Agency of Nigeria check.
Most of the machines had failed to dispense cash during the Yuletide, with scores of residents returning home disappointed.
Some of the respondents who spoke in separate interviews with NAN on Wednesday described the situation as “frustrating and unfortunate.”
According to them, most of the machines in the city have not been dispensing cash since Friday night, a situation which has resulted in spending long hours on the queue at the few ATMs that functioned.
Mr. Peter Ojo, who said he was unable to get cash from the ATMs he visited on Friday night, regretted that the situation had not changed as at Christmas morning.
“It is bad that the banks did not make contingency plans for a period like this,” he told NAN.
Another respondent, Mr. Osagie Mathew, had been on the queue since 6.00 a.m. on Wednesday, waiting to cash money for the Christmas celebration.
“I have been to more than six ATMs of different banks, but the same thing applied to all — inability to dispense cash.
“It is like a deliberate plan by all the banks to deprive their customers of cash withdrawals during the holidays.
“What we are experiencing now was just what happened during the last Christmas and Easter celebrations where we had to contend with the failure of ATMs and fuel scarcity.”
A journalist, Osagie Omorogieva, said he trekked several kilometres to Akpakpava road, moving from one ATM to another.
“I tell you, it was all a futile effort as I did not get any ATM to dispense cash in the long stretch of Akpakpava road.
“The only two ATMs at Diamond Bank and Union Bank that were dispensing cash was like a market place,” he said.
NAN reports that the situation is not different at the ATMs on both Airport and Sapele roads.
A security guard at a new generation bank on Sapele Road, who did not want his name in print, appealed to customers to exercise patience, saying the officials of the bank are already addressing the challenges to restore normalcy.
“I’m sure the people responsible will come and look into this problem before the end of today.
“I can tell you that the rush for cash by customers is largely responsible for this problem. But it will be sorted out soon,” he promised.
Apart from the ATMs, most PoS centres were unable to attend to their customers’ needs due to network failure.
A motorist, Mr. John Omoruyi, who described the situation as “appalling,” said he went to NNPC mega station with the hope of using their PoS to buy fuel, but he could not get the transaction through owing to network problems. They had network problem and I couldn’t buy fuel.
“This is not just peculiar to the filling station, as my friend also had a similar experience in one of the supermarkets where he was unable to make purchases due to the failure of PoS,” Omoruyi added.