In Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi, Point of Sale (PoS) operators are raising concerns about the current shortage of naira and appealing to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for intervention to prevent the collapse of their businesses.
Point of Sale (PoS) operators, in individual interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abakaliki, held banks responsible for the naira scarcity, citing their reluctance to release an adequate amount of money.
The Eastern Updates has reported an increase in withdrawal charges, noting that the fee for withdrawals ranging from N1,000 to N5,000 has risen to N200, up from the usual N100. Similarly, the withdrawal charge for N10,000 has increased to N300 from the previous N100.
Mr. Chinwe Okezie, a Point of Sale (PoS) Operator along Mile 50 Layout, expressed that they are now incurring higher costs compared to what they used to pay previously in order to obtain cash from the bank.
Okezie stated that the current situation is not caused by their members, and its impact is severely affecting them.
‘It is biting harder on us than you customers and believe me, if we continue to charge normal amount, many of us will not stay in the business anymore,’ he stated.
Another operator, Chidi Okafor along Kpirikpiri in Abakaliki, said the situation was worrisome and urged the CBN for immediate intervention.
‘This issue of cash scarcity is caused by the banks. When you go to the bank and requested like N500, 000, what you will be given will be either N100, 000 or N150, 000 and the charges too. So, you see the challenges.’
‘Many of the Automated Teller Machines, (ATMs) are not even dispensing cash. The few ones in some banks that are despensing will give you highest of N10, 000 only,’ Okafor added.
The scarcity-induced cash crunch has impacted the functionality of ATMs in Abakaliki’s First Bank, Zenith, Ecobank, and other banks, The Eastern Updates has learned.
Mary Okeh, a bank customer, voiced the need for immediate attention from the federal government to tackle the economic challenges facing the nation.
‘How can a bank hoard money that belongs to individuals at a time like this? No money, after you have tried to save it? This is not funny but wicked,’ she stressed.
Fruitless attempts were made to communicate with bank officials despite concerted efforts.