From Uche Usim, Abuja
Aside battling with the protracted fuel scarcity, Nigerians at the weekend also had to contend with severely malfunctioned Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sales (PoS) terminals that marred their efforts to make last minute purchases for Christmas.
In Kubwa Area of Abuja, a lot ATMs were deserted because they were not dispensing cash and those functioning like Diamond, Access, GT Bank and others banks were crowded by anxious customers who struggled to make withdrawals.
The story was not any better with the PoS machines as many customers insisted they were debited even when the transactions were unsuccessful.
At a boutique in Wuse, a teenager, Wole Badmus, lamented. “I came to buy myself some clothes but the POS keeps debiting me for unsuccessful transactions.
“I tried going to the ATM to withdraw cash, the crowd there was more than the spectators in Wembley Stadium. I ran away because the queue was something else. I went to up to three ATMs and the story was the same”, he said.
For Azuka Uche, her ATM remains a nightmare: “My mum just got paid on Friday night, so on Saturday I went to withdraw some money to buy stuffs for the house. I went to over four ATMs and none was dispensing.
“When I eventually queued in Zenith that had over 50 people, it trapped my card. So this means that it will be after Christmas before I can retrieve it. This is frustrating”, she wailed.
Another customer, Paschal Ilo, banks should simply dump the PoS machines: “I went to the supermarket to get groceries and stuff. Everything I selected amounted to N81,000, I slotted my ATM into the PoS and I was debited instantly but it was an unsuccefful transaction.
“If you go to the bank after the holidays, they will give you a form and tell you it’ll take three weeks to sort out. But they won’t know that I don’t have much money to survive within this period. Let me not talk of petrol issue here. Nigeria is damned”, he lamented.