By Danladi Al-Hassan
Many federal civil servants have continued to throng ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) areas around the FCT and environs to withdraw money for their last-minute shopping and outings for the yuletide.
The Federal civil servants commended the Federal Government for keeping to its promise to pay the arrears of the new minimum wage which came into effect in April 2019.
Some of the customers, mostly government workers told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the prompt withdrawal followed the payment of the arrears of the new minimum wage by the Federal Government on Monday.
Mrs Chikamso Nwobodo, a civil servant who reside at Nyanya, said the payment of the minimum wage arrears came as a surprise to her.
“I was saving some money to settle my children’s school fees by January but as soon as I received the alert for the minimum wage arrears, I was overjoyed as I needed to buy some food items for the New Year also.
“I know the Federal Government promised they will pay the money this December but I didn’t put my mind there because most times they pay late.
“I want to use this opportunity to commend the Federal Government for this money. It is not easy because some government will promise and will not fulfil their promise.
“It shows that the government has the interest of civil servants at heart. I hope they will continue this way in addressing issues concerning civil servants, kudos to them.
“We should commend them when they do well,’’ she said.
For another civil servant, Mr Charles Okoro who was seen at the EcoBank ATM in Nyanya, the payment of the minimum wage arrears came as a relief to him as he had expended virtually all his December salary for the Christmas.
“I thank the Federal Government for this prompt payment. It came at the right time because I would have run into debt in this New Year.
“Two of my daughters are in secondary school and before now, I have been thinking seriously because I know I don’t have enough to pay their fees.
“I was only trusting God for a miracle and He did it,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, some customers who were seen at PoS points at the Nyanya and Mararaba axis lamented that banks were using the medium to short-change their customers.
Mr Yakubu Haruna, a customer, said that although PoS agents were an alternative to boycotting ATM long queues, “the charges are becoming something else”.
Haruna called for a downward review of the charges to encourage more patronage.
“Their charges are exorbitant. Some of them charge as high as N200 and N300 for every N10, 000 to N20, 000 withdrawal.
“Although, most of them like Firstmonie agents still charge N100 for N10, 000 withdrawal, others will tell you that it is their commission.”
NAN checks at some ATMs at Area 3, Gariki area of the FCT saw few customers making withdrawals.