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Business News of Monday, 30 January 2023


Fight breaks out at ATM point over customer's attempt to withdraw cash with multiple cards

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

A huge fight broke out at the ATM point of a tier-1 bank on Friday, January 27, 2023, over disagreements about whether customers could use multiple cards to withdraw cash from the ATM at a time.

According to correspondent who was at the scene, the fight at the Access Bank branch located on Ago Place Way, Okota, Lagos, started when some customers insisted on withdrawing cash with 4-5 cards at their turns.

Since the Central Bank of Nigeria had directed that the maximum withdrawal for any individual card is N20,000 daily, it only made sense for those who need more cash to withdraw using multiple cards.

The act was clearly rejected by scores of other customers who insisted that each person should only use a maximum of two cards for withdrawal.

The suggestion was issued so that the queues would move faster to enable everyone to get at least a maximum of N20,000 of the already scarce currency. The suggestion was rejected by those who insisted they must use all of their cards for withdrawals and not caring what the others thought.

Further arguments led to pushing and shovings and then quickly escalated to two individuals engaging in fisticuffs before they were eventually separated by other customers.

The fight which caused chaos at the ATM point forced private security officers and the police at the bank to bar customers from using the ATM for close to an hour until normalcy and orderliness were restored.

Thousands of customers had besieged various banks and ATM points in order to withdraw some of the new naira notes after depositing all of their old naira notes. The new naira notes had become so scarce that many Nigerians who had already cleared the old notes in their possession were now left with no cash at their disposal at all.

Many of the ATM points across Lagos were not dispensing cash and customers who found their way into the banking hall were confronted with the dilemma of accepting the old naira notes or exiting the halls without any cash. The banks have been battling a shortage of new naira notes despite the CBN's directive against the loading of old naira notes in ATMs.

The CBN also forbade banks from issuing over-the-counter payments of new naira notes to customers.