News Column

Govt Seals Uba, Union Bank ATMs Over Non-Certification

June 24, 2014

Crusoe Osagie

As part of the efforts of government to ensure that consumers get value for money, the Weights and Measures Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, sealed Automated Teller Machines(ATMs)belonging to UBA Plc and Union Bank.

The UBA bank located in AP Plaza, Wuse 2 and the Union bank branch in the Central Business Districts were found to be using ATMs and counting machines that are not properly certificated by the appropriate authority.

Apart from the sealing of the ATMs, the Weight and Measure Department of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment which conducted the exercise, also carted away counting machines of the affected banks.

There have a been various complaints from customers across the country over the malfunctioning of some ATMs which have often times led to debiting without payment and other sundry complaints.

Speaking during the exercise, Mr. Salim Mohamed, a legal metrology in the Weight and Measure Department of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, stated that both banks contravened the provision of weight and measure Act by deploying machines that were not certificated by the appropriate authority.

He stated,"The essence of the exercise is to enforce compliance to the provision of the Weight and Measure Act which states that any equipment that is deployed to use in the country must be properly certificated.

"Before any equipment is put into use in Nigeria, it has to be verified to find out whether it is accurate. This is the normal practice all over the world, and Nigeria cannot be an exception. In the exercise we have just concluded, we found out that the banks contravened the provision of the laws and we have taken an initial step to stop the usage of their ATMs and counting machines.

Mohamed said the compliance exercise began in 2012, noting that it would continue until all organisations using weight and measure equipment in the country comply with the provision of the law.

Asked if there was a basic stipulation regarding the standard of measurement, he stated that the country was following the regulations set by the International Organisation of Legal Metrology( IOLM), the intentional body that provides regulation for the testing of equipment.

On whether the department could not go beyond sealing the defaulting ATMs, he said there were other sanctions, stressing that the punishment meant out to defaulters depended on the enormity of offence committed. a the matter. In the interim, what we have done is to seal the ATMs because the banks are not permitted by the law to use equipment that has not been certificated by the appropriate authority," stated.

The Director, Weights and Measures Department, Eng. Joseph Sikuade today in his office at the Headquarters of the Ministry said that the Ministry has been interacting with stakeholders to enlighten them on the need to comply with weights and measures act, adding that the recent intervention by the department was geared towards satisfying customers and most of the operators have been complying with the weights and measures act.

"Customers are our priority and for them to get value for their money, the Ministry's responsibility is to ensure accuracy in all transactions, fairness and legal use of weighing and measuring instrument in the country." Eng. Sikuade said.

Other banks that have started to comply with weights and measures act were GTB, Heritage Bank and Wema Bank plc.and others

The verification certificate is mandatory for every marketer to possess for its equipment which is valid for a year and it is usually issued after dispensing pumps had been tested and found to be accurate but due to their nature and a bid to maximise profit some marketers do readjust their meter to short-changed motorists.

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Source: AllAfrica

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