Nigerian banks have begun the process of recovering the loans disbursed to customers to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The unexpected removal of thousands of naira from several beneficiaries’ bank accounts without prior notification from the banks, however, came as a shock to customer.
Beneficiaries of the loan who were affected expressed surprise at the sudden deduction according to a Punch report.
A customer identified as Yinka claimed she only received a N200,000 Covid-19 grant.
She told the agency that N750,000 was debited from her account and her son’s.
She lamented that the deduction has caused her family to be financially insolvent.
She said, “What happened is that last Friday around 4.48 pm, I checked my phone and saw a debit alert of N380,000. What was written was Global Standing Instruction.
‘’Initially, I thought it was from fraudsters and had to freeze my account. When I complained to customer care, they asked me if I had taken a loan or given out my Bank Verification Number during COVID-19.
“But the surprising thing is that the bank removed N380,000 from my account and N370,000 from my son’s account, making a total of N750,000. I didn’t even spend the money I was debited, but I have reached out to those I gave my BVN during that time to know if they used my account to receive money.
“At least, if I had collected the money, I would be happy to refund it but I didn’t take it. I have also heard in my area that some people’s money has been removed too.”
Another beneficiary identified as Onuche Isaiah said he was made to pay N250, OOO, and N150,000 to two ‘supposed agents of NIRSAL.
He said he was informed that although his loan was only worth N1 million, the money would only be disbursed to him if he agreed to pay the agents N250,000.
After he accepted, he said he received a call from someone asking for an extra N150,000. Onuche claimed that after giving the agents the agreed-upon amount, he was given a loan of N700,000.
He bemoaned the fact that the agents had gotten away with it while he had to return the loan.
About the Covid-19 loan
Thousands of applications were submitted to the fund, which was overseen by the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
Applications were charged five percent of the total amount, with a moratorium that expired on February 28, 2021.
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