By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos – Mr Johnson Chukwu of Cowry Asset Management Ltd., on Monday said that the reduction in Automated Teller Machine (ATM) charges directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which comes into effect on Jan. 1, next year, would ease financial burden on the banking public.
Chukwu, Cowry Asset Management’s Managing Director, made the assertion while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the CBN’s Dec. 22 announcement to reduce the withdrawal fee charged for using other bank’s ATMs to N35 from N65.
According to Chukwu, it is a step to push and enhance financial inclusion in the sector.
“So, any policy that reduces the cost of bank transactions or any dealings through the bank will have positive effect of pushing and enhancing financial inclusion. The simple reason is that anybody who experiences reduced transaction burden in the bank, will not want to leave the banking system.
“As we know, customers have faced charade of cost pressures in carrying transactions in the bank, we recently had an increase in the value of transactions associated with stamp duties when the CBN insisted that any transaction above N1,000 would attract a stamp duty.
“We now have a Finance Bill that has been passed into law and with that bill, it also specifies that the online transaction will now be subject to stamp duties and Value Added Tax (VAT).
“So, with that, the banking public will really have it though, hence, this reduction is particularly on ATM charges on withdrawals after third time from other bank ATM’s from N65 to N25,’’ he said.
Chukwu said that the policies would the cushion the effects on charges that the banking customers have to bear during transactions in the bank.
According to him, the new directive which is intended to give incentives to the banking consumers will benefit mostly the banking public than the bank or the government.
He said, “The reduction is intended to give incentives to the customers, like I said, the banking customers have had to carry a lot of cost burden which was not necessarily benefiting the banks but the government, so it should be a relieve for the customers rather than the banks.”