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Stop hidden charges, exploitative marketing Gbajabiamila tells banks

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has expressed concern over Deposit Money Banks’ indiscriminate levying account holders.

He said that apart from known charges, there appeared to be other ‘hidden’ charges that banks imposed on their customers.

Gbajabiamila, who noted that the House was concerned that such a practice was making customers helpless, called on Nigerian banks to come up with ways to address high charges on loans and other facilities they offered.

The Speaker said this when the board and management of Standard Chartered Bank, led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lamin Manjang, visited him, according to a statement issued on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi.

The statement was titled ‘Gbajabiamila voices concern over banks’ ‘hidden’ charges, exploitative marketing in Nigeria’.

The speaker said, “We have issues that come up in your industry, so this visit is a welcome development. One of the issues at stake is the rate at which banks charge customers. There are claims that banks have hidden charges. This has come up a couple of times on the floor of the House. This is something that we should look into.”

 

He also expressed concern over the kind of ‘exploitative marketing’ some bank marketers were subjected to, asking if that was the practice all over the world.

Gbajabiamila asked, “You have corporations in the UK and other parts of the world. What obtains here in banking, in terms of marketing – sending people to go and knock at people’s offices and all that; does it obtain in those places? If it doesn’t obtain in those countries, it is not international best practice; why should it obtain here?”

The speaker recalled how he came up with a bill against corporate prostitution some years back but the legislation did not sail through.

He said, “We are here to support you. Whatever we need to do, we should do it to support you. We need to know the kind of marketing that takes place. Is it digital marketing?

“We also have to set realistic targets for the marketers. We have the responsibility to protect Nigerians, and we also have the responsibility not to kill your business. So, it is a delicate situation.”

The CEO of Standard Chartered Bank had earlier told the speaker that his bank was one of the oldest banks in Nigeria and that it had a strong presence in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Manjang, a Gambian, said having taken the position of CEO of the bank two years ago, it became necessary to visit the speaker to reiterate the bank’s commitment to Nigeria.

Responding to the issue of exploitative marketing, the CEO stated it was standard for banks to market their products to customers but added that it had to be ethical.

Manjang said, “It is not peculiar to Nigeria, but it has to be ethical. Teams usually go round, but the ethical conduct has to be there.

“You need to have marketing for people to know what you offer. If there are any abuses or conducts that are not ideal, they should be called out and addressed.”

Business

I sold about N70,000 bread daily to bandits when Kaduna students were abducted – Baker

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Hassan Magaji, a baker in the Galadimawa area of Kaduna State, has confessed to supplying bread to bandits.

Magagi, who was recently arrested by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, said he sold bread worth N70,000 to the bandits during the time that some university students were abducted.

It is not clear if he was referring to students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who spent over a month in captivity.

“I observed that whenever they kidnapped many people, like during the kidnap of those university students, the quantity of bread that they bought increased. During that period I delivered up to N70,000 worth of bread everyday until recently when it dropped to N50,000 again.”

“I have not benefitted much except that I married a new wife and I was able to save money to take care of two wives. To stop banditry, government should recruit more security men. We prefer police because they know the job.”

Bandits have been terrorising residents of Kaduna and its environs.

On Saturday, angry residents blocked the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway to protest incessant attacks.

Despite repeated assurances from government, armed gangs have been making life a hell for people.

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Aviation

Rains: NiMet warns of severe turbulence, flight cancellations

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The Director-General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, has said airlines will encounter severe turbulence, flight delays and cancellations during rainfall.
He therefore called on pilots and airline managements to adhere to the weather forecast as the likely severe turbulence could cause discomfort, injury to passengers, instability and even loss of control for small aircraft.
Matazu was quoted in a statement on Friday as saying, “Heavy rains could also lead to skidding of aeroplanes due to surface wetness and impaired horizontal visibility.
“Thunderstorms could also lead to accidents, incidents, flight delays, flight cancellation, death, damage among others.
“Windshear could lead to accidents, incidents, aircraft nosedive, discomfort, aircraft lost control and death.”
The NiMet boss urged airline operators to take weather forecast seriously, stating the turbulence usually would cause poor visibility.
He also called on passengers to be patient with the airlines as flight delays, flight cancellations and flight diversion will be experienced within this period.

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Business

Navy arrests 10 vandals with smuggled 210,000 litres of diesel

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Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft have arrested 10 suspected vandals with 210,000 litre of stolen diesel.
The suspects were alleged to have attempted to smuggle the products concealed in water tanks to neighbouring Benin Republic through a wooden boat when they were intercepted around the Lagos anchorage.
A statement released on Friday by Base Information Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Veronica Effiong, said the suspects with the seized products had been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, after preliminary investigations.
She said, “The vandals and seized products were on Tuesday, June 15, handed over to the Lagos Command of the NSCDC for further investigation and prosecution.
“The Commander NNS BEECROFT Commodore Bashir Mohammed reiterated the NNS BEECROFT`s commitment to the protection of critical national infrastructure and the eradication of all illegal activities in its area of responsibility in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff`s mission statement and strategic directive of 2021-5.
“As partners for a safe maritime environment, members of the public especially our host communities are enjoined to kindly furnish the base with credible information to assist in curbing the activities of criminal elements and economic saboteurs.”

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