Economy and Business

Nationwide cash scarcity persists, as POS operators increase charges by 100%

Nigeria is currently witnessing a prolonged shortage of cash, amplifying woes for citizens as Point of Sale (POS) charges spike by 100%.

Despite a recent Supreme Court directive upholding the legal status of old and new currency notes, the scarcity of cash persists unabated.

Customers face mounting difficulties in withdrawing cash from banks, while Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) often stand empty-handed.

Multiple attempts to withdraw cash in Lagos proved futile, with several ATMs reported as non-dispensing, further exacerbating the critical situation, Daily Trust reports

In a troubling development, POS operators, often the last resort for many, have doubled their charges, demanding N400 for a N10,000 withdrawal, up from the former N200.

Allegations surfaced that bank staff have been demanding N10,000 in exchange for access to N100,000, fueling additional challenges within the cash crisis.

In different regions across Delta State, POS charges have ranged from N200 to an exorbitant N700 for varying withdrawal amounts.

Mrs Ese Rebowhe, a POS operator in Asaba, highlighted the hardships of securing more enormous sums, emphasizing the impediments experienced while transacting at banks, often receiving partial disbursements against substantial withdrawal requests.

She said: “When you go to the bank to collect money, you will not get it as you want; maybe you want to collect N20,000, they will only give you N5000.”

Similar distress was evident in Abeokuta, where POS charges surged from N100 to N200 for N5,000 withdrawals, signalling the repercussions of the local naira scarcity.

Also, most banks have set over-the-counter withdrawal limits between N20,000 and N50,000, with ATMs permitting withdrawals ranging from N5,000 to N40,000.

Sterling Bank is an exception, offering a higher withdrawal limit of N150,000 exclusively for its customers.

Favour POS, an operator in Abeokuta, shed light on the impact of the crisis on business operations, admitting to purchasing cash to sustain her services.

“It has affected me a lot. As it is now, I am buying cash. And the reason is that I don’t want to stay at home,” she said.

In a recent statement, the Central Bank of Nigeria affirmed that there’s ample cash in circulation, attributing the scarcity to hoarding practices.

 

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