Petrocam Filling Stations scam public of N50 POS charges, dares CBN
Against the directive of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that individuals are not supposed to pay N50 service charge when making payments with a point of sale (POS) machine, Petrocam Trading Nigeria Ltd, owner of Petrocam Filling Stations, has continued to extort the public at its filling stations across Lagos State.
Owned by Mr. Patrick Ilo, Petrocam has trading outposts in different parts of Lagos. Political Economist investigations across the state showed that whereas other major petrol dealers have stopped charging N50 on POS transactions, Petrocam has continued to scam the public.
Inquiries at LASU-Igandu Road, Egbe Road and Canoe axis bordering Ajao Estate in Lagos showed that officials of the Petrocam have not relented in their extortion of N50 from fuel buyers per POS transaction.
The situation caused a stir on Thursday, January 2, 2020 when a middle-aged man screamed at the petrol attendant who had hinted at keying in N50 as addition to the man’s purchase. A scene was created which the petrol attendant upon realizing the criminality of his action apologized to the man who had threatened to report the matter to CBN.
The customer’s outburst and uncommon courage to confront the Petrocam crooks emboldened other customers some of whom had already been scammed of their N50.
Political Economist investigations at other Petrocam stations showed a similar trend. The attendants charge N50 per transaction on POS but would waive it if the customer protests reminding them of the clarification by CBN that it is not to be borne by consumers but by merchants.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in the wake of the confusion created by the new POS policy explained that individuals are not supposed to pay N50 service charge when making payments with a point of sale (POS) machine.
While explaining the new CBN financial guide, Musa Jimoh, a director in CBN’s payment system management department, explained that only businesses using the POS are to be deducted N50 per payment received through the machine and not customers.
“No single individual should pay N50 in addition to the cost of the good,” Jimoh said in an interview on Channels Television.
“Stamp duty is not to be paid by individuals that are consuming the goods and services of the merchant. The merchants who are receiving the money are the ones who are supposed to pay.”
Prior to Jimoh’s clarifications, some media platforms reported that consumers would pay more for POS transactions after the CBN stamp duty.
He faulted banks for imposing N50 service fee charges on customers and advised that they comply with the CBN directive to avoid being sanctioned.
“What has happened is that they (banks) have transferred this fee, blatantly and openly to the consumers. This is very wrong,” Jimoh said.
“Our explanation to banks is that we would like the merchants to comply with this directive by ensuring that every single payment customers make to them, the merchants pay the regulated stamp duty of N50.”
He explained that stamp duty is a fee regulated by an act which is not regulated by the CBN.
“Our circular that talks about merchants paying stamp duty according to the law does not say that the stamp duty should be paid by the consumer. That’s actually a misrepresentation of the CBN’S directive.”
Jimoh said CBN’s directives is that merchants should pay all necessary charges as regulated by the government agency including stamp duty.
The CBN director explained that the stamp duty is only paid when there is an electronic transaction to an account other than savings account with the transaction amount being more than N1,000.