By Stanley Onyekwere
For allegedly operating without compliance with established safety protocol for easing Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 lockdown, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has threatened to seal up some Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) branches in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
To this end, the FCTA yesterday issued a twenty-four hour ultimatum to the three affected branches of the bank in Area 3, 11 and Central Business District respectively, so as to enable them put the necessary COVID 19 safety measures in place for their customers.
Making this disclosure during a monitoring exercise, chairman , FCT Enforcement Team on COVID-19, Comrade Ikharo Attah issued the warning to the management of the bank in area 3 Abuja.
Attah, who lamented that the lives of customers were being endangered at the bank premises without the observance of physical distancing, canopies and chairs for their customers, called for the setting up of hand washing facilities at entry points.
While interfacing with management of the bank, the Taskforce leader said : “ We are giving you 24 hours to get your customers well arranged and seated, and failure to so do, the FCT Administration will be left with no option than to seal up the property.
“ This particular bank (GTB) is not observing Covid-19 safety protocol at all. There is only one thermometer for this large crowd.
“ I have been to this particular branch for more than four times and this bank enjoys large crowd and we are happy for them.
“Not organising for its customers to sit and wait. There was no social distancing and most of them are not even wearing facial masks. The bank should provide canopy, chairs, and hand washing points.
“We are giving them 24 hours to get all all these things in place or risk been sealed. Because, they should take the lives of their customers very seriously. Their customers should be treated with utmost dignity.”
It was observed that some customers who were seen visibly angry over what they described as poor management practices by the bank, alleged that some of the bank staff were favouring some individuals that were not on queue.
Others, who decried spending to 2 to 4 hours without gaining entrance into the banking hall for intended transactions, also called on the GT bank to open up their branches to avoid large crowds.