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Customers Charge Commercial Banks On Improved Services

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Bank customers in the country have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure commercial banks live up to their mandate of satisfying customers.
They made the appeal in separate interviews with newsmen on Sunday in various parts of the country.
The Tide reports that many of the customers were at various bank premises trying to withdraw cash from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
A cross  section of them decried poor services by the banks, especially in ensuring adequate provision of funds in the ATMs at weekends and public holidays.
A visit by  The Tide correspondent to most of  the centres at the weekend showed long queues at the very limited ATMs within the various premises.
“The bank management is aware of the usual chaos at ATMs during weekends, holidays or festive periods and ought to have made adequate provision, by ensuring sufficient funds in ATMs.
”It is very unfair that the interest of customers is not considered by the banks and the government should try and look into the matter for the good of the poor masses,” a customer, Adams Malamute said.
It was reported that at the  Area 3, Garki, Abuja,  where many bank branches were situated, fewer customers were seen making withdrawers and majority of the ATMs were dispensing cash.
A customer at the Guarantee Trust Bank, Mr Alfred Agula,said he drove all the way to town to withdraw money because he wanted to avoid long queues.
”The economy is very tight and one has to manage every resources he has, if only adequate provisions were made by those in power, things will be easier for all of us.
”We are on Sallah holiday and as you can see, very few people are seen withdrawing money, because everybody is broke, there is no money in the economy.
It was also a tale of frustration for many bank customers during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in the South West zone as many ATMs  failed to dispense cash.
Long queues were also a permanent feature at  most banks’  premises.
In Oyo State,  some of the customers  lamented about the long queues and insufficient funds in the machines, urging the banks to evolve new measures aimed at  resolving the challenges.
But an official of a commercial bank, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak out said that  the situation was due to high patronage at  ATMs during festive periods .
She said that funds were loaded into the ATMs based on  availability, saying an official  of the bank had  been designated to load the ATMs as soon as fund was available.
”A bank official works  at weekends and public holidays to attend to issues at the ATMs,’’ she stated.
In Ogun, customers  also faced similar hitches and called on banks in the state to step up measures to ensuring  easy  cash withdrawals  through  ATMs.
Most,  if not all ATMs in the Ijebu-Ode metropolis,  are concentrated on  the Folagbade-Ibadan road in Ijebu-Ode, a situation the banks attributed to security reasons.
Mrs Adeola Akinyemi, a teacher in Odogbolu,  said residents of the area and the neighbouring Ikenne town always had difficulties using ATMs.
An official of one of the commercial banks in the area,  who pleaded anonymity,  pointed that the patronage of ATMs was usually high during festive periods.
He, however, said that the bank was trying its  best to fix the problems as they came up.
According to him, each ATM takes as much as N8 million with N2 million of N1,000 notes in each of the four trays in each machine.
The bank official said that security guards from private firms were always available around  the gallery to offer assistance to customers in need to quicken process of withdrawal.

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Aviation Workers Issue Strike Notice To NiMET

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Aviation workers unions have given a 14-day notice of strike to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) for failure to implement consequencial adjustment wage for its workers.
This, consequently, means another round of disruption in the aviation industry as three workers’ unions have threatened to ground operations at the Nigerian Meteorological Agency over the wages, and failure to implement the minimum consequential adjustment wage.
The unions, which include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees.
The unions in a letter of notice of strike, which was made available to aviation correspondents, gave the agency’s management a 14-day ultimatum to implement the minimum wage adjustment or they would embark in strike action.
This is also coming barely a week after the workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company PLC( NAHCO) downed their tools over wages.
The strike notice to NiMET is also coming up in the sector, irrespective of the recent order given by the ministry of aviation, prohibiting any form of strike in the sector, as aviation industry is viewed as essential service.
The unions have accused the NIMET’s management of ‘wickedness’ over its failure to implement the minimum wage consequential adjustment despite its implementation in other five aviation agencies in the sector, since February 2022.

The letter dated January 26, 2023, was jointly signed by the General Secretary, NUATE, Ocheme Aba; the General Secretary AUPCTRE, Sikiru Waheed; and the General Secretary of ANAP, Abdul Rasaq Saidu, and was addressed to the Director-General of NiMET.

By: Corlins Walter

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New Seme Customs Controller Vows To Sustain Tempo

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The newly deployed Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Border Command, Compt. Dera Nnadi, has assumed duty with a pledge to sustain and improve tempo of trade facilitation at Nigeria’s busiest land frontier.
Speaking at a brief handover ceremony, Nnadi, who described Nigeria as a strategic economic player in Africa, said schemes like ongoing ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and soon to take off African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would be explored for common good.
According to the new CAC, Nigeria’s economy is central to the West African sub-region with a population of over 200 million, with the country having potentials to contribute to the over 1billion African population through the AfCFTA regime
He urged his operatives, other government agencies, members of the border community and travellers to embrace challenges of trans border trade and comply with the law guiding trans border trade all the time.
Nnadi, who noted that border communities have challenges that are not insurmountable, added that there is need to cover infrastructural gaps that will improve their standards of living and promote lawful sources of livelihood.
Ahead of the 2023 elections, he advised his officers to be polite to travellers and traders using the Seme corridor and be firm in curbing any form of lawlessness.
He said his experience and knowledge from previous assignments across the border and his academic exposures will be deployed to border administration
While promising to interact closely with  traditional rulers and other members of the border area, he solicited closer stakeholder interactions at strategic and operational levels.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Kaduna Refinery Rehabilitation: NNPCL, Daewoo Sign N342bn Deal

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A contract sum of $740.67million has been signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Daewoo Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited for the rehabilitation of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC).
A release from the NNPCL revealed that the signed contract of $740.67million (N341.48billion as at Friday’s official exchange rate of N461.04/$) was signed at the Abuja headquarters of NNPC, and will last for 21 months.
According to the release, the quick-fix strategy would see to the repairs and re-streaming of KRPC, as well as ensure its operation on a sustainable basis at a minimum capacity utilisation of 60 per cent.
In the released statement, the Executive Vice President of the downstream of the national firm, Adeyemi Adetunji, was quoted as saying that the contract is marked a milestone in the history of KRPC, considering the fact that the last Turn Around Maintenance on the refinery occurred about 15 years ago, and that the project was framed after extensive engagement with Daewoo.
“This project shall be executed in three work packages as a maintenance services contract by Daewoo E&C Nigeria Limited at an estimated maximum cost ceiling of $740,669,600, with a duration of 21 months.
”The quick-fix strategy guarantees the fastest route to re-streaming Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and KRPC for in-country production of refined petroleum products.
“Restoring WRPC and KRPC back to operation will guarantee energy security for the country, reduce dependence on imported petroleum products in view of near total dependence on supply of imported petroleum products and the impact the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is having on global supply”.
“The proposed quick-fix initiative on KRPC is expected to restore it to a minimum of 60 per cent of its nameplate capacity by fourth quarter of 2024. NNPC Limited is using a combination of Internally Generated Revenue and third party financing to execute the repairs of the refineries”, he stated.
Also in the release, Adetunji noted that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refining Company had progressed considerably.
”The old refinery is currently at 64 per cent completed and the plant is expected be back in operation in second quarter of 2023, while the entre PHRC rehabilitation project currently stands at about 59 per cent.
“On the other hand, WRPC quick-fix project has achieved 28 per cent completion and is expected to be re-streamed by the end of this year”, it stated.
The statement further maintained that Nigeria should be self sufficient this year with respect to the domestic production of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.

By: Corlins Walter

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