Sir: The continuing pandemic of COVID 19 continued to cause deadly blows to the world at large. The intensity of this is felt all over the world, including our corner in Ekiti.
We thank God that the state government has reacted promptly, retroactively to the issues and solutions necessary to stop or mitigate the intensity of the global calamity.
However, there is an issue peculiar to Ekiti that scares many people: the apparent conspiracy of commercial banks that seems to have the intention of deepening the sufferings and frustrations of our people.
The coincidence is frightening – a worldwide calamity and a local drowning out of our ability to weather the storm. Banks may not know, or they may pretend not to know.
For all banks that operate between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on specific days of the week, we have itinerant customers who have traveled from five to ten neighboring cities whose local branches have been closed and whose savings and liquidity have been blocked at closed branches in their cities.
The news that circulates here in the midst of the COVID-19 calamity is that armed thieves are constantly attacking their branches in these communities.
As a result, banks in local government areas would be closed and helpless customers would be advised to travel to Ado-Ekiti for basic bank transactions.
This situation creates risks of monumental dimensions, as helpless people travel by public transport, mainly & # 39; OKADA & # 39; on unknown roads, since early in the morning just to stand in line for hours, waiting for your count to mature in a very inclement weather in front of hostile bank agents.
In addition to the above, banks now reduce their operating staff to about a third of their normal strength. This complicates the process of paying cash to hundreds of customers.
Now, no one is blaming commercial banks for closing some of their outposts to avoid banditry, but consideration should be given to poor and very poor peasants who house peanuts, as in their original branch, only to be forced to travel dozens miles to do business at major bank branches.
In Ekiti, most bank transactions are now carried out in very few locations, mainly in Ado-Ekiti and Ikere-Ekiti.
The current situation has shown the fragile and inadequate security measures taken by banks operating in the interior.
There is an extreme need to reinforce your security devices, join with colleagues who are essentially competitors and ensure a higher level of security in your facilities. In summary, banks operating in rural areas must hire more security officers for all policing.
Obviously, these are difficult times. But times also demand intelligent and humane solutions, not escapist arrangements that make life unbearable for ordinary people.
Banks are still making good profits and must be prepared to share some of the agonies of ordinary Nigerians, who are so dependent on them to survive.
A few days ago, some of the major banks were denying the intention to downsize their branches and cut staff. This is how it should be; Ordinary bank workers are sacrificing a lot to make their institutions profitable.
When things are a little difficult in the country in general, they must not bear the brunt of economic and social displacement.
Banks aren't just for the big people up there. All those who contribute to its profitable operation must benefit from their work.
Social distancing! What is social detachment in which attempt to collect N2,000 were you on the line, struggling for five hours to get the attention of the bank officials who were handling the accounts to secure entry into the banking hall?
Finally, banks operating in Ekiti must reconsider their new opening hours from 8 am to 3 pm to allow them to work longer hours, otherwise the local economy will suffer a painful slowdown.
I welcome the courage and efforts of the few employees who struggle to meet the daunting demands of a large number of oppressed customers.
- Deji Fasuan, MON, JP, Ado-Ekiti.