Banks withhold delegates’ money

Emeka Nze

Over 50 delegates whose allowances were posted to the United Bank for Africa have difficulties in accessing the money, Blueprint reliably gathered.
Although UBA is allegedly not the only culprit in the delay of payment of allowances to the delegates, Guaranty Trust and Sky banks were said to have initial problems of payment due to documentations by the delegates.
Some of the delegates yesterday lamented over the delay in accessing their monies with some of them complaining of being deprived of their personal comforts due to the banks’ delay in the payment of their allowances.

Blueprint reliably gathered that for the second week running, UBA has allegedly not been able to pay the second tranche posted to it for the delegates, citing equipment breakdown as the reason for their failure to pay the delegates.
One of the delegates representing the South-South zone told Blueprint that the excuse of equipment breakdown was unacceptable saying that he suspected that the delegate’s money would have been put to use by the bank.

The delegates who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated that he was unable to travel at the weekend because of the inability of the bank to pay saying that he had last week sent his aide to the bank who came back without the money.
According to the delegate, when the first payment was made, he also encountered problems withdrawing the money saying that it was the fault of some of them (delegates) who could not complete their documentation on time.
Blueprint further learnt from other delegates that UBA is not alone in the delay of payment to the delegates pointing out that Sky Bank and  GTB were equally culprits in the delay of payment.
According to one of the delegates, representing civil societies, Sky and the GTB banks attributed delays from them to initial challenges experienced in opening the temporary accounts for the delegates.

The source who blamed the secretariat noted that there was general logistics problem ranging from car park, feeding and delay in receiving alerts from the banks where the money had been posted by the secretariat of the conference.
He also complained of lack of competence on the part of the secretariat noting that minutes of previous sittings were usually laden with errors as the delegates spend extra time correcting the minutes before commencing a new day’s proceedings.
The representative of the civil society urged leadership of the conference to do more to improve efficiency so that the conference would not have to spend time on unnecessary issues.

Corroborating the issue, the Assistant Secretary, Media and Communication, Mr Akpandem James stated that Sky Bank within the premises had problems in effecting the transfer to other banks depending on the platforms they use.
Akpandem noted that for some of the banks, the funds can take up to 24 or 48 or 72 hours for the transfers to be made saying it was a mere delay which did not last for a long time.
He said that the fault could be that of some delegates who make mistakes in their account numbers or those using their company numbers instead of their names.
He also owned up to some administrative lapses on the part of the secretariat.

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