Customers in some banks in Ibadan, Oyo State, have expressed fear over the invasion of the Automated Teller Machines in the areas by beggars.
People who spoke on the condition of anonymity say that in Dugbe, a business district where several banks are located, beggars are often seen waiting anxiously at the banks’ cash points to receive alms from customers who when they withdraw money from the ATMs.
The story is also the same in some of the banks in the Ring Road area, where customers have to appeal to the managements of the affected banks to ensure customer safety by ridding the cash points in the area of unknown people who pose as beggars.
Some of the beggars are women with babies, others are young boys and girls, there are also often middle-aged men with various forms of physical challenges.
A bank customer, Arowolo Sheriff, said, “It is pathetic that the managements of banks would allow their customers to be embarrassed and harassed by beggars. The beggars are in almost every bank. They wait for you to withdraw money and then approach you for alms, even at night.
“Most of the time, the ATMs dispense high denominations like N1,000 and N500. If I withdraw N5,000 for a purpose, will I give out N1,000 to a beggar? There is nothing wrong in giving alms and being charitable, but being harassed by beggars is a breach of our security system.”
A trader in the Gbagi Market area of Ibadan, said she often withdraws more than N100,000 from the ATM each time she wants to pay her suppliers, and the fact that beggars harass her for alms all the time makes her afraid. “In the kind of country we live in, it is possible for informants to pose as beggars and give information to robbers.”