After Nigerians failed to react and reject several unconscionable fines for banking, levied by an insensitive ruling cabal, the central bank of Nigeria is back again to add even more harsh and unjustifiable penalties on the working class.
Nigeria may be broke, but it is not the middle working class that is responsible and it is not their responsibility to get Nigeria out of the hole. Rather by fining and extorting this middle class class which includes the owners of small and medium enterprises, the Buhari government is hampering the section of society that provides employment to 70% of Nigerians. Thus the effects of these CBN imposed levies reaches everyone. The cabal loot our oil during sale, refining and import, they loot us silly via the phony oil subsidy and new CBN secret FOREX subsidy granted them on the same oil commodity. Two subsidies now on the one product! The Executives, Legislators and even Judiciary and their cabal friends on the outside loot us silly. They should be made to pay for destroying our economy and getting us into this hole, not us.
Since the days of CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, I have written about these wicked levies that are found only in Nigeria. See: https://dailypost.ng/2014/02/22/peregrino-brimah-banks-man-expect-higher-charges-godwin-emefiele-new-cbn-governor/
I have written tons of articles each time, highlighting each new wicked levy. I have protested and demonstrated and made video protests against the unconscionable play by the CBN to extort the masses and make their pals who own Nigerian banks the wealthiest people in the world. And this policy of robbing Nigeria’s working class and transferring the wealth in a ponzi-like scheme to the banker cabal is harmonious from PDP to APC. Once a banker is made CBN governor, he protects the interests of the bank mangers and cabal and not the masses so he can retire to billions in rewards.
In Nigeria there are fines on everything! Sanusi advertised some of the wicked plans as aimed at cultivating a “cashless” society. I pointed out then that in other countries, customers are enticed to use the banks by perks and rewards. Banks fight each other to give better rewards. Customers get bonus points and cash rewards for the amount of transactions they make through the bank. Rewards can be redeemed as cash or gifts. In Nigeria, the only country in the world with such malicious policies imposed by its central bank, clients are fined to withdraw cash and now will even be fined again to lodge in cash. Your own money. You deposit N500,000 and see only N485,000 in your account. The banks steal about $50 from you.
In my recent video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoXV9WsRVnY) which has been quite viral, I lamented on how the COT, so-called Commission On Turnover which then CBN governor Sanusi callously maintained on Nigerians, with banks fleecing off naira per 1000, was due to be phased out by the end of 2015. But right when it expired, by January of 2016, the other banker who replaced Sanusi as CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele silently replaced it with a rebranded name, CAM (Current Account Maintenance) fine, which continued the fleecing of N1/1000 on transactions. See: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/01/cbn-reintroduces-cot-as-current-account-maintenance-fee/ A bogus fine that transfers billions of naira from hardworking Nigerians, not to the federal economy but to the quarterly dividends of bank owners. This is rebranded reintroduction of an unjustified fine is illegal, fraudulent and treasonable.
As I wrote in my 2011 warning article, a list of some of the Nigeria-limited malicious fines customers are extorted by include:
Customers pay N10-50 per sms alert, even for bank error repeat texts; though bulk sms texts are offered to businesses by mobile networks at N1/sms.
Hardware token for security is issued at N2000 ($12);
Bank statements are charged at about N40/page;
Renewal ATM card is issued at a charge of N1000 ($6);
N500 monthly maintenance fee for current accounts ($3);
First Bank and Keystone Bank even have a N100 monthly ATM card maintenance fee!
You also have the Value added tax, for ‘no value added.’
Even reference letters are fulfilled at a charge of up to N2000 ($12).
I am not sure how much higher these are today but I am sure none has been removed.
The fines on Nigerians imposed and permitted by the Central bank are to many to list. Compared to other countries in the world where the money you put in is the money you take out, and for instance in USA where with transfer services like Zelle, people transfer all day every day and the exact amount sent is received the same day, in Nigeria when you deposit an amount as it enters the bank now it reduces and as it continues to move around it disappears into the hands of the bank managers.
I can deposit $1 million cash into my account in America today and withdraw $1 million cash tomorrow and pay the cash into the account of Mr X and he will see $1 million. Banks should not steal from customers. This is civilization. Banks use the money of clients for their own business and make profit from it. Emefiele like Sanusi as a banker with vested interests in the banks is forcing Nigerians to keep all their money in the banks so the banks make even more money and is forcing us to do so with fines on every event and even the transactions we make. In a sense his ludicrous system is teaching us to keep our money out of the banks entirely and return to cash whereby we will not be robbed.
To make matters worse, Emefiele also helps banks rob Nigerians on FOREX transfers. When you withdraw money from your Nigerian card abroad, the money is converted at higher then the official conversion rate and even higher then Bureau de Change “Mallam’ rates. Nigerians get dollars from the banks at N365 and higher per dollar. This again is FRAUD perpetrated by the banks under Emefiele’s supervision.
And it is the struggling middle class that feels the brunt of all these fraudulent and extortive policies. The middle-class who are the highest employers of labor, employing over 70% of Nigerians as earlier noted. The CBN alluded to this in another attempt at defrauding the minds of Nigerians. “Only 5% of Nigerians will suffer from the newly imposed deposit fines,” Emefiele lied. I take it he is referring to the amount of Nigerians that move more than N500,000. (http://saharareporters.com/2019/09/21/only-five-cent-bank-customers-will-be-affected-new-policy-says-cbn) What he did not mention is that 70% of Nigerians are employed by the directly affected 5%. The entire country will continue to suffer form this unhinged and gravidly evil government while the bank owners and cabal laugh their way to the bans as they get subsidized FOREX from Emefiele and even get their transaction fines waved by the bank managers.
In Nigeria of today, oppression is standard policy and suffering is constitutionalized. Nigerians have lost al hope as the economy is under the clutches of the wealthy cabal and there is no possibility of recourse as the Judiciary has been totally compromised. Will Nigerians revolt against this maintained and reinforced hardship? I will not hold my breath. As in the past, we’ll likely accept this, and continue to suffer and die.
By Dr. Issa Perry Brimah, @EveryNigerian