Banking & Finance Economy

10 banks rake in N138bn from alerts, e-services in 1 yr

Written by Maritime First
  •  As AMCON takes over Wokson International over N5bn debt

Leading banks in Nigeria have reported a significant rise in income from fees they charge customers for use of their various electronic banking services, principally, transaction alerts, Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) services and money transfers among others.

The top 10 banks earned N138 billion as at end 2016, up by over 26 per cent from N109.1 billion in 2015. Total industry figure is expected to be over N160 billion and over 30 per cent year-on-year jump.

Reacting, organized labour declared the e-transaction charges as not only outrageous, but also a corporate extortion, pleading with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and other regulatory agencies in the financial sector to intervene before it gets out of hand.

While top executives of banks told Financial Vanguard that the development was not only inevitable given the massive refocusing of business models from interest income to non-interest income by almost all the banks in the past two years, they added that in the current year and in the years ahead the figures will be far higher since, according to them, bank customers are also buying into the services increasingly.

Financial Vanguard investigations also revealed that the shift to non-interest income by banks was partly a result of huge bad loans and subsequent losses incurred by banks who were largely into interest income businesses, principally, credit creation.

However, bank customers and other non-operator stakeholders appear unhappy with the development as they accuse the banks of profiteering at the expense of customers who should have received the services as part of what the banks are obliged to render at no extra cost.

In the meantime, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over the assets of Wokson International Limited in Asaba and Warri in Delta State due N5 billion indebtedness.

This follows the injunction granted by Hon. Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court Lagos Division against Wokson International Limited in Asaba and Warri in Delta State on the application of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The order mandates AMCON to take over all the assets of Wokson International Limited and Chief Dr. William Oki, the promoter of Wokson International Limited over a staggering indebtedness of over N5billion.

In a statement released on Friday,  AMCON said it has moved in and took over all the assets of Wokson International Limited and that of its principal, Chief Oki as ordered by the Court through Mr. Robert Ohuoba, the Receiver who also received protective orders from the court.

The assets, which are now under AMCON include asphalt plants, hotels and several houses belonging to Wokson International Limited and Chief Dr. William Oki. The order also froze all accounts of Wokson International Limited and Chief Dr. William Oki anywhere and in any financial institution in the name or belonging to the duo.

According to the order, “…all financial institution served with the order hereby made shall comply by filling at the Registry of the Federal High Court affidavits showing cause and serving same on the Claimant’s Legal practitioner and in the event that money is found in any account standing in the credit of the defendant to transfer such sum to the nominated account of the Claimant forthwith.”

The Court also directed the Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Police Command to assist and protect the Bailiffs of the Federal High Court and the Receiver, Mr. Robert Ohuoba (appointed by AMCON).

According to Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON said, “We saw it coming because the said debt is long overdue. I want you to understand that before we get to this stage with any of our obligors; we must have patiently tried to resolve the matter without going to court.

Anytime we end up taking over assets such as in the case of Wokson, it means all efforts by AMCON to get the obligor to amicably repay the indebtedness have proved abortive. If you have exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution, there is no other option available to the Corporation than to commence enforcement action against Chief Oki the promoter of Wokson International Limited as ordered mandated by the Court and as provided under Section 49-52 of the AMCON Act.”

Vanguard

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Maritime First