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NIBSS intensifies efforts to reduce downtimes and enhance services



NIBSS service downtime puts more hardship on Nigerians

Tumininu Ojelabi Hassan

The recent disruption in the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) network over the past weekend has exacerbated the frustrations experienced by many Nigerians unable to utilize the banking payment system. This ordeal proved to be distressing for numerous individuals who found themselves unable to receive funds or conduct transactions.

The respondents, who spoke with our correspondent, said they were unable to perform inter-bank financial transactions due to the service downtime on the NIBSS instant payment transfer channel.

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“I couldn’t do transfers to other bank accounts. I tried transferring from the three banks that I use but all the transactions failed. My accounts were debited even when the transactions failed. Some of these transactions have been reversed while I’m yet to get a refund for about two of them,” one of the respondents said.

Marvelous Effiong, one of the top bank customers said she didn’t receive the ₦200,000 a client sent to her on 10th February 2024 due to the downtime NIBSS experienced.

“My client sent me ₦200,000 on 10th February 2024. The transaction was from Opay to my UBA account. I didn’t receive the money. After 48 hours, I went to UBA to lodge a complaint, but the bank told me the money wasn’t with them. They said the issue was from NIBSS. I didn’t receive the money until after four days,” she stated.

Biodun Arogundade, a 46-year-old jewelry vendor, who spoke with our correspondent, said she recorded low sales as customers couldn’t make payments when the NIBSS server was down.

“On that day, I didn’t make sales at all because most of the customers, who wanted to buy jewelry in my store couldn’t make payments. Initially, I thought it was only my bank that had issues but when other people started complaining about failed transactions and transfer errors, I realized it was a general issue,” she said.

Jamal Quadri, a 34-year-old painter, lamented over his inability to pay for the painting materials he bought at the market as all his bank mobile apps were down including the fintech apps.

“All my bank mobile apps were down. I couldn’t transfer money to other banks on any of them. I couldn’t make payment for the painting materials I got at the market. I tried several times but it didn’t go through,” he shared.

Another respondent, Joseph Irurhe, complained bitterly over the downtime as he was unable to make payment for groceries at the supermarket.

“I wanted to get groceries at the supermarket. I couldn’t use the POS because I lost my ATM card. I tried transferring from one of my bank accounts, but it failed. I assumed it was a network issue from the bank. I realized the issue wasn’t from the bank when I tried my other bank account and I couldn’t transfer also. I had to drop the items I bought,” he said.

“I would appreciate it if issues like these are communicated to customers immediately after they occur so we would know how to plan ourselves. I almost received an embarrassment at the market when I bought something and I couldn’t make payment for it due to the downtime. I tried many times but the transfer didn’t go through. It was extremely frustrating,” a respondent decried.

Bank customers took to social media to express their concerns over the service downtime as none of them could perform financial transactions when the NIBSS server was down.

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