Hello friends, I’ve been in a bit of a writers block lately, this is my attempt at not putting out half-assed content that you will not enjoy. This right here is a tale of my adventures with Nigeria’s flawed banking and record keeping systems and what came after that.
It all started last night. I have been broke, that is, i.e, financially decapitated for a while now and I just received a credit alert from my mother, see, my joy then, cannot be described with words. So this happy young woman (I am bound to write in third person, please forgive me, all na gist) rushed out to use the ATM machine late at night.
I should let you in on the circumstances surrounding getting to the ATM and picking money.
- I didn’t have a dime on me and neither did my roommate (we were going out together) she in fact, transferred money into my account so that I could aid her to withdraw; she couldn’t find her debit card.
- It was about 9pm in the night. This wouldn’t be such a factor if I lived (or schooled, rather) in one of the big cities of Nigeria, I’m talking Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and what have you, but I school in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, the most mediocre state I’ve had the pleasure of being in (I’ve not been in many states, mind you), where convenience stores close by 5pm and open by 12pm, and the roads seem to have it’s own closing hours as well, say 8pm (I’m being lenient here).
- Because of the above mentioned reason, I had to take a bike, okada, motor cycle etc, instead of the initial trekking that I had planned when leaving my room. At this point, I will refer you back to reason number one and my bargaining with a cyclist, okada man, that I didn’t have the means to pay but I’ve done it before, what could possibly go wrong? I’ll withdraw and pay him. Or so I thought.
We’re at the ATM now and this is where the Palava begins. I put my card in the machine and go through the transactions I want but just at the last moment, the machine says card restricted. I went twice to thrice on different machines getting the same response. “Okay, I’m alright, not shaky at all, this is Nigeria, I can use an Access bank debit card in an Access bank powered machine and still get issues, let me move the money from this account to another”, I happen to have multiple accounts and money in only one of them at a time.
When I opened my mobile app to make the transfer, it was as well declined. Now, this is where the trouble really is. Access bank had finally run mad, at my own expense, I called customer care. I happen to be one sane Nigerian, it’s Christ in me, I didn’t start crying and cursing them for all around to hear, those were hard times though, I had to remind myself that all the worries of this world, in the end are transient only God and his word in Christ will remain. No point dying and crying over spilt milk, let’s find a solution.
If only this Okada man could understand and stop honking like I stole his money, in fact, my roommate had to go placate him. He eventually left without taking pay. I was too busy trying to contact their customer care. It went through pretty quickly, even quicker than Airtel customer care that will make sure you hear all their adverts at least three times before a Call Centre representative gets to you. Do I have a witness in the house?
The representative that took my call, I never listen for their names, in my defense; they don’t care much for mine once the call is terminated. It’s part of the job description, no offence to call centre representatives out there. Anyways, this lady who took my call was pretty nice and tried her best to help me as much as possible but when the root has spoiled, the branches will be shaky!
The man who opened my account (and I’m calling out names and branches now), David from Access Bank, Garki II, Abuja Branch misspelled my name. How do you possibly do that? Even with a copy of my ID card in your possession, it’s just so you can eat commission on my account opening and many others, I’d like to inform you that what is worth doing is worth doing well.
Be patient. Take your time and do your job efficiently, it’s far better than a quick job.
Because of this name difference they had issues linking my BVN to the account. I will once again call out the same branch. I am uncertain in fact, if David is solely to be blamed because when I had done my BVN registration at that same branch, the official who obviously has comprehension problems had turned my surname to first and first name to surname. Why would you do that? Couldn’t you have just asked? Admittedly the order of my names are strange but please, if I fill the form, help me and input it like that, ehn?
But this boils down to something more important, excuse my ranting.
What is the point of having a computerized national data base if it is barely synced?
Some corrections when done in one place could easily reflect on others, I don’t have to jump from place to place looking for how to correct and going through unnecessary bureaucracy or bottle necks.
Nigeria is a failed state, we all know that but fail has never been a permanent tag, neither has success, we have to work to make it better but as for the system, I hope someone who can do something hears this and does something.
This morning, I had to write a power of attorney to my branch, allowing my father access to make certain changes in my account before all restrictions were pulled. To celebrate this success and just like food is always on my side (money is not but food is always and forever), I found Ewa Agoyin. FINALLY!
If you’re on The Blogger Advocate’s WhatsApp group then you’ll remember how I said I’ve never had it before, well, all that has changed now, there’s a woman who sells same close to my residence. I am convinced there is some charm in that sauce, used to spice it that makes the beans taste so good and even as awesome as it tasted, I have to say, I’m not feeling the hype. Maybe this woman was below expectation, or that’s it (this would be really sad though).
Have you had Ewa Agoyin? Tell me, is it that awesome? And have any of this country’s systems let you down lately? Tell me about it?