Barely 24 hours to Christmas, bank customers in Benin lamented over the inability to make withdrawals from Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
A news correspondent who went round the metropolis reports that not many of the ATMs in some banks visited on Sunday were dispensing cash.
Some of the residents appealed to the management of the banks to urgently deploy more of their staff to the banks to ensure efficiency in the services of the machines.
Abel Bassey, who said he was on the queue for three hours before he was able to make withdrawal, alleged that the banks deliberately refused to put enough money in the machines.
“I don’t understand how one, with his money in the bank, can find it extremely difficult to make use of ATMs,” he said.
For Aliu Ozioruva, he said he visited three locations before he could get cash.
“In fact, I started on Saturday evening but could not succeed and had to set out early on Sunday morning to continue.
“My take is that if the machines were fully loaded and there is someone on ground to always reload when they are empty; this challenge would have been avoided.
“Another issue is that of network which I cannot say anything about. However, the banks should have envisaged the traffic associated with these machines at this time of the year,” he said.
Similarly, residents were seen at various filling stations on queues.
Fillings were selling fuel between N230 and N250 above the government regulated price of N145 per litre.
Only NNPC Mega Station along Sapele road was dispensing the product at the official price and the long queue at the station had resulted into a chaotic traffic jam on the road.
Military personnel, police the state traffic officials have had a terrible time trying to maintain orderliness around the station.
It was also observed that the station now operates beyond its official closing time of 8 pm, as they were found to be dispensing the product to motorists till 11 pm on Saturday.
The residents, however, described the situation as unfortunate, especially at the Christmas season.
A motorist who identified himself as Osadolor said he had been on queue around 5 am to beat the rush.
Also, Thompson Ebewe said though the queue was moving fast but the activities of some persons had slowed the process.
“Though the fuel line is moving, I believe it could be faster if not for the activities of some torts that were jumping the queues,’’ he lamented.