Nigerian banks

I’m quite angry at the moment. Maybe it’s the exchange rate that seems to be looking for another source of crude oil or treasure with the way it keeps diving down. Maybe it’s because my earnings haven’t really increased while every other thing has. Maybe it’s because I haven’t gotten my regular dosage of ewa agoyin this week. Maybe it’s the bunch of kidnapping paedophiles masquerading as monarchs in the north. Maybe it’s a combination of all, but Nigerian banks and telecoms companies have finally drawn my ire.

I think I’m largely angry because I don’t feel safe with them. These guys have more information on me than all my exes put together but still appear largely clueless to use them. If Goodluck Jonathan had abundant resources but was clueless and his replacement – our dear champion of the other (red) room, Christian Grey Buhari is seen to be clueless regarding how to get us out of this current quagmire, how would you describe Nigerian banks and telcos when it comes to data management?

Am I going too fast? Sorry, I’ll slow down a bit.

*counts to ten and takes a deep breath*

I think I’m calm now.

So, I need help to make some sense out of certain situations. We were all mandated to do SIM card registration in the not too distant past. Some had to do the same registration thrice due to shoddy handling. Finally, all is well with our mobile lines but somehow, you lost your phone – robbery, misplacement, whatever, you either need to get a new line or retrieve the old one.

Now, you visit the customer care office (largely torture chambers to me) and tell them of your predicament. Ideally, if we have sense in this country, all you should need, since they now have your name, mother’s maiden name, fingerprints, picture, names of people you attended kindergarten with – you get the point – is to fill a form or whatever, get the old SIM blocked and retrieve the line. But no, they tell you to bring a police report (well, I can concede this one but any idiot can get a police report) and a valid means of identification.

You’ve really got to be taking the piss!

Identify myself? When you’re looking at me on your screen with my prints and other biometric information? Get out of here.nigerian banks

It happened to me once and on the day, I only had my company ID with me so I just found a way to get them to block the old line – after plenty talk – and buy a new SIM card. Been using that for almost a year and I still can’t remember the digits.

A few months after that, I tried sending money through my mobile banking app and I couldn’t. I later found out that my electronic transaction limit had been reversed without my knowledge to N1,000 every 24 hours. So if I needed to send, let’s say N5,000 to my little brother in school, I either had to go to the bank, withdraw and deposit over the counter, or send N1,000 for 5 days. I couldn’t even buy airtime beyond that limit.

I was told to go to the bank to reverse it and I went. Guess what: I needed to present a valid means of identification – to prevent ‘fraud’. For an account I’d been running for years, after which we’ve all done their BVN nonsense. I am standing right in front of you, with the same face in your database, same fingers you took prints off but no, you need ID. Really? Yes, because most Nigerian banks are masters at the art of fuckery.

I can understand presenting ID when opening the account but after using it for years? Come on. How am I going to defraud myself?

Whoever thought out the procedures for this should be given the same treatment Daniel Craig was given as James Bond in Casino Royale. After all, torture begat torture.

Anyway, I decided to go reactivate a dormant account I had with another bank – which in its dormant state was capable of receiving payments but incapable of withdrawals – and I gave them my BVN number to link. That was when I was informed that my names weren’t correct: apparently, the bank where I did the registration entered my middle name as my surname, my first name was non-existent and my surname was my first name. Same bank that reversed my transaction limit so I had to go back and complain.

I did.

They said I needed to go get an affidavit for them to be able to correct the mistake they made. And I needed to present…yeah you guessed right: a valid means of identification.


Seriously. Fuck you. Let me just go and buy a piggy bank.


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