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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has reacted to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to slash withdrawal fees charged after the third withdrawal from Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

Pantami in a statement commended the directive to reduce withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ ATM. The CBN cut the fee to N35 from N65. According to him, the decision will drive the actualisation of a digital economy.

In the statement issued by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, the Minister of Communications said, “Lower service charges will encourage higher patronage of electronic services, especially in the banking and financial services sector.” 

Nairametrics had reported a series of slashes done by the apex bank which includes the following:

  • The cost to either obtain a new hardware token or a replacement is reduced from N3,500 to N2,500.
  • Bills Payment (Including Bills Payment through other E-channels) has been reduced to a maximum of N500 (negotiable) per beneficiary from N1,200.
  • Charges on electronic funds transfer have been reviewed to N10 on transaction below N5,000, N25 on transaction between N5,001 – N50,000 and N50 on transaction above N50,000.
  • Charges on foreign currency denominated debit/credit card have been reduced to $10 per annum from $20 per annum.
  • Also, Card Maintenance Fee on Naira debit/credit cards is reviewed to N50 every three months (quarterly), from the initial N50 monthly.
  • However, transactions’ alert on consumer-induced transactions remain (N4) while no charge for bank-induced transactions.
  • The CBN also removed Card Maintenance Fee on all cards linked to current accounts and also instructed banks to charge a maximum of N1 per mille for customer induced debit transactions to third parties, and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other banks on current accounts only.

[READ MORE: CBN issues banks new guidelines, fines over customers’ complaint)

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NCC should follow suit: While the Minister has found the reduction by the CBN commendable, it should also ensure its directive to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the reduction in data cost be implemented by the network providers; rather than keeping mute since giving the directive.

It’s been over three months since Pantami gave the order to reduce data cost, but neither the telecommunication firms nor the NCC has reflected this directive. So, while the Minister is hailing the CBN for taking action that benefits bank customers, Pantami should follow suit on behalf of subscribers.

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