BANKS AND GOVERNMENT LACK OF SECURITY IN SAGAMU, OGUN STATE. Started with another a threat of robbery attack to a specified target with resultant closure of the neighborhood banks. That’s actually the pinch off the whole story. The adage that a stitch in time saves nine was actually applied here; unknowingly it seems now too had been the true solution to the unfortunate rise of insecurity to lives and properties the people of gun state faced. Late last yr a group of miscreants robbed 3 banks simultaneously in Sagamu carting away millions of naira in which some of those banks actually said would have been their total profit for the year. So why open a bank, fund its staff, only for your profits meant for a whole yr to be taken away in a day. 2 months ago, another threat came, (Its funny these days how robbers will inform you of their proposed plan of invasion) like a battered dog, the banks shut down immediately, leaving only the ATMs working. For the populace it was thought to be a temporary measure that won’t last more than a week at most, but to my greatest surprise, it lasted for a month and a week as there was still no sign of the gatemen of the banks talk less of other bank officials, the banking street seems desolated. Even the ATMs were out of cash, and they r not refreshed. What was the problem? What is the government doing about this? That was the question on the minds of the people. The only thing they know is they have a government that works as fast as a snail, because their quietness speaks a lot... The banks obviously sends message to the government, “we cannot work in this height of insecurity”, the people say. To the populace, it was a matter of keeping whatever cash you had in your hand, as their beds are now banks, even if they had to bank, they travel to neighboring states, “whatever situation we are Nigerians and we do adjust”. Its not that they don’t want the banks, not that they like the troubles they face doing transaction, it’s a matter of how failing our democracy is. If we cannot secure our properties then we got nothing. They pay tax, security is my right. On the other hand, the bank didn’t show any atom of care or sympathy for their consumers as they failed in their PR services was nothing to write home about during the situation. Complains from the consumer would have been avoided if not for the unnecessary quietness. The banks should know that without consumer, they are useless. What the PR officer would have done was to make the consumer understand why they couldn’t work during the crisis by coming up with strategies that would have saved the day. And not at the end of the day bringing two amour tanks to secure the palace. How late can that be? A family who has no relative outside Sagamu in Ogun state and no money except in the bank would have lost it by stealing from neighbors if he is not the asking type. Does the bank think they will have smooth transaction after the situation? Every consumer has different behaviour in the buying. My advice to all the banks in Sagamu is to come up with compensating strategies for what happened and avoid the say, “it wasn’t our fault”. Thanks to God as banks were opened on the 22nd of March 28, 2012. And I hope this won’t come up again as the robbers find something legal to do. (Job)
Janet Omolara Jiya. Caleb University Imota, Lagos.