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ACCESS BANK TOOK 15 YEARS OF MY LIFE.

Speaking up about the perceived harm the bank has done to me may not seem right. In the Nigerian clime, it is almost a culture for us to accept every misfortune, especially when the next step for redress is unknown. The harm eventually smokes away in the haze of jokes, until the hysterical laughter relieves our senses briefly of our nation’s calamitous state.

A lot of people will try to shut me up for daring to speak. They will attempt to shame me into silence. How dare I not accept my cup of woe in peace? What is my aim of talking? What do I stand to gain? My audacity will be challenged by those whose trade in the stock market give them a daily or short term cash out, the gurus of the wall street, the smart hustlers with no mercy or compassion for the unfortunate traders like me. My lament of woes and misfortune is no more than comic relief to their ears. It is a jungle out there. No mercy.

The mockery has already begun. Since I posted about my ordeal on Monday the 25th of April, non-traders have laughed at my pain. They call me greedy for investing and expecting my “money to work for me while I slept”.

You can’t win in Nigeria. And it makes me wonder.

Would it have been better if I had not thought of a legitimate investment as young as I was back then?

Would I have gotten an ovation, if I had excelled in ‘Yahoo’ or other shady deals?

Perhaps so.

My nation only respects wealth, not its source.

Before you say a bank has no control over its share value and my grievance is not valid, please, take a walk with me down memory lane 15 years ago. This is not about an investment gone bad, but the dream I was sold at the Access Bank premises in 2007, when I went to conduct my “due diligence “, the assurance given to a young, naive girl like me. Back then, I had the option of investing in gold, an alternative that could easily liquidate my money whenever I wanted. But not until the bank staff assured me that shares was the surer life security given time. I was told my shares was bound to appreciate over the years and be worth a fortune. That was the explanation I was given, and that was the trust I built on as a ‘layman ‘.

Call me a stupid decision maker, call me greedy for investing in a BANK. I don’t mind, but it was a genuine transaction. I went for legal. And if you think waiting for 15 years is greed, while those cashing out daily from the same system is ‘smart’, may God help our value system.

A lot of people are saying I should not have sold the shares now. I should have held on until the market is good. How long, I ask? Is 15 years not long enough?

In this 15 years, I got no dividend.

I only got about 6k prior sales after I complained of this. Eventually the shares I purchased for #22,350 was sold for 20k.

My story does not end here.

I just gained admission into a university and badly need my assumed fortune to process my admission. So you can imagine how loud my lament, when instead of a package, my money not only lost value for the accumulated years, but I was also given a loss of 2,300 as bonus.

Am I blaming the bank? I honestly don’t know.

But when I consider the current worth of the bank, it’s managers’ and staff-worth in the run of this same 15 years, all I can say is this is not right.

That advice their staff gave to me 15 years ago, young and naive me, should have never happened.

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