Maiduguri - Some bank customers in Maiduguri on Monday appealed to commercial banks to extend their operating time beyond the current 2.00 pm following the gradual return of peace to Borno State.
Most commercial banks in the state operate between 8.00 am and 2.00 pm due to security challenges in the state.
Some bank customers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri, said they were not happy about the current operating hours of banks in the state.
Maisamari Fugu, a businessman, said that the limited operating time was adversely affecting business activities in the state.
"We thank God that peace has gradually returned to the metropolis, business is booming in all areas of the city.
"But our main problem is how to cope with the limited banking hours in the city.
“Some banks operate between 8.00 am and 2.00 pm, while others operate between 9.00 am and 2.00 pm,'' Fugu said.
He said that the situation had often created hardship for customers transacting business in commercial banks.
"It is always very difficult for us to transact business in the banks as we spend hours trying to withdraw or deposit money.
"Sometimes, one has to tip bank officials to assist in depositing money needed for urgent business transactions outside the state,'' Fugu said.
He said that some business owners were also forced to keep money at home after the close of business because the banks closed so early.
"Often times, businessmen have to keep their daily proceeds at home before lodging them into their accounts the following day.
"This is a very dangerous thing to do, but because the banks closed by 2.00 pm, we have no other option,'' Fugu said.
Ishaku Maitumbi, another businessman, corroborated Fugu's claim, saying that he had suffered losses due to the development.
"I lost a business transaction last week because I could not deposit the amount agreed upon on time due to long queue at the bank.
"Some businessmen have to travel to neighbouring Damaturu in Yobe State to make business transactions,'' Maitumbi said.
He said that with the recent attacks on motorists travelling along Damaturu-Maiduguri road, it was no longer convenient for bank customers to travel to Yobe to make transactions.
Samaila Kubo, a civil servant, said that it was always hectic for workers to withdraw their salaries from their banks at the end of the month.
"Sometimes, we spend two to three days trying to get our salaries from the banks because of long queues.
"Even the ATMs are overcrowded in most cases.
"I think it is high time that the banks resumed normal operating hours like the case in other states of the federation especially now that peace has returned to the state,'' Kubo said.