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Banks witness low patronage as most govt offices remain shut in FCT

by Business News Report

Most commercial banks in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) witnessed low patronage of customers due to the directive of the Federal Government’s to close government offices and schools. However, most customers were not sure that the banks would be opened for business, following the Federal Government’s directive.

The President Goodluck Jonathan had directed that government offices, schools and private offices with large work force within the FCT be closed from May 7 to May 9.

The president gave the directive to ensure security within the FCT during the ongoing meeting of the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Abuja.

A NAN correspondent, who visited commercial banks within the FCT, sighted no fewer than 15 customers at the various banks at different transaction units.

Some of the banks visited were First Bank Nig. Plc., Zenith Bank, Guarantee Trust bank, United Bank for Africa, Diamond Bank, Ecobank and Stanbic IBTC Bank within FCT.

Among all the banks visited, it was observed that UBA only opened the back entrance to the bank while Stanbic IBTC was closed to customers.

NAN reports that other banks visited had not more than two to three customers at different transaction points. At the GTB, a customer, Mrs Stella Amedu said she was not aware the bank would open today for operations, saying that she had to call her account officer before coming to the bank.

“I am a business woman and have some money from my sales of yesterday which I came to deposit at the bank. I had to call my account officer who assured me the bank will be opened that is why I came to the bank,’’  Amedu said.

At the First Bank in Area 3 which was usually very crowded, it was noticed that only three customers were seen making transactions at the time of the visit. A customer at the First Bank, Mr Atsaka Oduen, said he usually patronised the branch and had never seen the banking hall as scanty as it was today.

“I always use this branch for my transaction because it is close to my office. The bank is always very crowded with people and I have never seen it scanty like this before.

“I think the reason why it is so is because most offices have been shut down due to the World Economic Forum holding in Abuja,’’ Oduen said. An official at the UBA bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the bank would be closed at 3 p.m. due to the holidays. However, reports from the subsurbs of the city said that normal banking services were going on with many witnessing many customers.


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