POS agents stranded, lament naira scarcity

February 9, 2023

2.6 min readCategories: News

Several Point of Sales agents in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, have lamented their inability to get cash for their business amid naira scarcity in the country..

Many of them did not have cash on Wednesday to pay customers, Starnews Nigeria can report.

Speaking with Starnews Nigeria correspondent, a PoS operator, at Lugbe, Mr Frank, upon inquiry, said he was closing shop for his inability to get new notes to pay customers.

Another PoS operator by the name Clement, disclosed that he is out of cash and cannot buy the new naira note at a very high rate. As such, he could not attend to any customer because he has no cash to carry out the normal transaction.

The Punch reports that POS operators within the Lotto Mowe axis of Abuja said they had to source for cash from market women.

According to the Punch reports, a PoS operator who refused to disclose her name said, “ I charge N700 per N5000. I don’t even have enough cash because all the banks are closed and I had to get cash from traders in the market. All the banks in the camp have shut down also in Mowe.”

In Lagos, a PoS operator at Idimu road, who simply gave her name as Mummy Ire, said she did not have any cash for her business.

She said that the Access Bank she visited on Ikotun road was neither paying neither was the ATM dispensing cash on Wednesday.

“My brother I don’t have any cash with me here. I visited Access Bank to make some withdrawals, they were not paying and the ATMs there were not dispensing cash. I don’t know where this will be taking us to.”

In an exclusive interview with the National President of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank, Victor Olojo, he noted that it had not been easy on agents.

He said, “Agents have to travel miles and go through long processes to get funds as the banks are not giving agents money. The reality is that cash right now is a scarce commodity, and agents do not have direct access to it.”

According to the president, the deadline stipulated by the CBN is not feasible.

“With what we have seen on the ground by our own estimation, except something happens, that deadline is not feasible because the entire old notes cannot be mopped out by February 10, and this will trigger lots of problems as we are already seeing.

“I believe that an assessment will be done by February 10, and the CBN also has their ears on the street. So, if it is not favourable by then, the regulatory body would not go ahead. The banks are suffering from this shortage already. If the CBN goes on with the deadline stipulated, it would not be a good move.”

He added, “Banks should also be made to pay more over the counter with strict measures like supervision by the CBN most importantly, the alternative channels should also be strengthened because trust needs to be built.”

Credit: Punch

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About the Author: Olumide Akinrinlola

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