Some residents of Enugu State have lamented the current scarcity of cash in circulation in some parts of the state, following the cashless policy by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some of the residents decried the non-availability of cash and what they called the exploitation by POS operators.
NAN reports that the apex bank had shifted the deadline for the expiration of old naira notes from Jan. 31 to Feb.10.
However, the residents expressed concern over the failure of commercial banks to dispense the new naira notes.
Mr Okonkwo Agbo, from Nsukka Local Government Area of the state, told NAN that the situation in the villages was worse due to lack of commercial bank branches in the rural areas.
“As I speak, we are stranded here in the village because even the nearest POS agents don’t have money to dispense.
“No money to even buy Maggi to cook, not to talk of buying some other things,” he said.
Mrs Esther Anieke, a POS operator, who resides at 9th Mile corner in Udi Local Government Area of the state, said that she had no money to give to her customers.
“Yesterday, I spent more than eight hours in the bank only to get N20,000 and within 30 minutes after arriving at my shop, the money had been exhausted.
“So, it is a serious problem. In fact, I am planning to lock the shop and head back home,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Ibeabuchi Nweke, a resident, complained that he went to an ATM point to withdraw money but couldn’t find a way through.
‘I decided to withdraw across the counter. Surprisingly, I was given only N2,000 of N50 note. It’s heartbreaking. Honestly, I don’t understand,” he said.
NAN also reports that many POS operators now take advantage of the situation to demand for higher charges.
According to a resident, Mr Erasmus Nwadike, a legal practitioner, POS operators now charge as high as 20 per cent commission on each withdrawal.
“I went to withdraw money and paid N2,000 charges on N10,000. I wonder what is happening in Nigeria,” he said.
However, a POS operator, Miss Elizabeth Nwoye, said that the reason for the high commission was due to the process of getting the cash from the banks.
“It is not easy to get the cash out of the bank. We go the extra mile to get the money. So, if anyone is not ready, others are ready,” she said.