Customers on Monday besieged banks in Abuja and Lagos on the first working day after the partial lifting of the lockdown imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to help the country curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
As early as 8am, customers were at the gates of the banks having been lockout since March 30, when the lockdown took effect in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States.
Checks around the capital city showed customers crowding the gates into the banks without practicing social distancing measures of keeping away from each other by at least, two metres.
Some banks in Maitama put up canopies where customers could sit as limited numbers were being allowed into the banking hall. Also, banks in the Central Business District recorded large turnout of customers, most of whom were made to stand outside the gates.
Some of the customers complained of the long time spent at the gates of the banks, saying measures should be put in place to quicken the process of attending to customers.
They lamented that with the large number of customers, maintaining social distancing was practically impossible.
“See, people just want to get into the bank and transact their business and leave. It is very uncomfortable standing like this in the sun for hours”, a middle-aged man who did not want to be named told ExpressDay.
He said he was in the bank to try to reverse “the deductions made from my account when I used the ATM without getting paid”.
In Lagos, the situation was the same as costumers thronged to several banks in large numbers.
Reports said the large turnout made it difficult for people to maintain the two-meter physical distancing as directed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The customers also violated NCDC’s guidelines on mass gathering of not more than 20 people within or outside of a workplace.
According to reports, at the Ikotun branches of Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Firstbank of Nigeria, the queues waiting to gain entrance into the banking halls were uncontrollable.
Customers took turns to get into the premises where they were administered hand sanitisers and their temperature checked before they were allowed entry into the banking halls.