Good Coincidence

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"So it's you!"
"You, I know you!"
"Glad to finally put a face to the name!"

Some coincidences are good. And if you are kind easy going person, most coincidences will be great. Like the one that happened to me yesterday. In 2014, GTBank disabled (though they called it "flagged") our company account. Reason: on one of the numerous forms they told us to submit, my surname was spelt as OLAFUS instead of OLAFUSI. So their legal department flagged the account and froze our money in it. I was expecting payment for a job and was also trying to register as a vendor to Vodacom Business Nigeria. That period, GTBank was the devil in corporate flesh. Luckily, FCMB came to our rescue and I will always be grateful to them. Best bank I have ever banked with, FCMB. However, due to my knowledge of decision analysis (thanks to MBA) I knew that it is better to have two suppliers/banks, even if one is the devil, than to put yourself at the mercy of one. So I still went ahead to fix the error GTBank complained about. They wouldn't accept an affidavit from the High Court Ikeja. They wanted me to go fix it at Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). And of all the government agencies, I think CAC is the worst run. The Yaba office I went to opens 10:00am and closes 3:00pm. They use paper for pretty much everything. If you come too late to check for your documents, the record book might have torn and your struggle given a longer life. They frustrated me so much that I gave up about three different times. It was an easy straightforward task I was to do -- submit an affidavit backed request from the board of directors of the company to correct the spelling error in my name on the form CAC 7. The last time I gave up, I met a friend by coincidence at the Yaba CAC office. She is a lawyer and now runs her own law firm. I happily handed my matter to her.

That was coincidence number one, and not the yesterday coincidence I initially hinted.

After another lengthy battle, involving Abuja CAC HQ, we finally got the error fixed. Took an entire 18 months. And I keep hearing the government saying it is doing everything to encourage small businesses and stimulate the economy. So I had to go back to battling the devil -- GTBank. And they always exceed my expectations. First, the branch has closed down and our account transferred to another branch without any notice. Then the problem is now not only the CAC 7 missing "I" in the last name but, in addition, a dormant account. The account is now dormant. To reactivate the account, customer care said I should go with a utility bill and valid ID card. I got to the branch and it was not there, called customer care to find where it has moved to. I then drove to the new branch. They told me I have come with the wrong documents, that what is needed is a letter/instruction from the board for account reactivation and that I can submit it at any branch. I got to the other director and made the required board of directors letter. I went to a branch near my house, and, as usual, I got another story. "You didn't come with a recent utility bill and a passport photograph? Sorry, there's no way we can handle your request." So I went back home and watched Pirates of the Caribbean. Then got all the documents everyone of them from customer care to the last bank officer told me to get. And yesterday, while sorting things out for our Abuja training (in Abuja), I went boldly to a GTBank in Garki area 11. Guess what? The devil happened again, "Hmm, it seems there is a flag on your account. We can't handle the request until the flag is lifted."

Well, I had had it (for the umpeenth time). So I called to find who our new account officer is as it's changed with no notice to us. We have been given three different account officers and we find out only after we try unsuccessfully to reach the last known account officer. The last I was given was a ghost. No replies to email and no contact number. I finally got through yesterday and got the contact of the account officer's manager. Guess what, he is someone I know. In fact, someone I have helped with an Excel issue. A friend. What a pleasant coincidence. Now I got renewed hope. But I still hate GTBank.


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