The Nigerian Army on Sunday called on commercial banks to deploy Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to the military barracks in Maiduguri for the use of front line soldiers involved in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in Borno.
Brig.Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, made the call while speaking at a Civil-Military Forum organised by the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri. Ezugwu was reacting to criticisms by residents that soldiers often refused to join queues at the ATM points in the town.
He said that the army had written several letters to the banks for the deployment of ATM machines to the barracks without much success.
“We have been battling with the issue of lack of ATM in the barracks for the use of soldiers in the front line zone. “I wrote letters to the banks over seven months ago for them to deploy the ATM at the Maimalari Cantonment for soldiers use, but there is no response yet,” he said.
Ezugwu said that the military was concerned about the development and urged the residents to intervene. “I want to urge everybody here, especially traditional rulers, to help put pressure on the banks so that they can give us ATM at the barracks and allow you to use the ones in town. “We are aware of the fact that everybody needs the ATM at one point or another,” he said. “
A soldier carrying 12 ATM cards at a time must have brought his colleagues’ cards from the frontline to take money and send to their families all over Nigeria. “We have areas where there is no network, it is only through the ATM that the soldiers can send money home to their families’ he said. Ezugwu appealed for more understanding from the residents pending when the ATM would be provided by the banks at the barracks.