Just a week after the extension of deadline for old Naira notes, checks have shown that Point of Sales (POS) operators have taken advantage of the new note policy suddenly introduced 10% charge per transactions in Nigeria.
Despite the extension, Nigerians still experience scarcity of cash following the recent CBN swap policy.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele allayed the fears that the old naira notes would no longer be tenable after the expiration of the February 10 deadline for the naira swap policy.
Mr Emefiele announced this while appearing before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee looking into the implementation of the policy, pledged to adhere to sections 20 sub 3, 4,5 of the CBN Act.
The CBN governor said Nigerians can be rest assured that they would be allowed to deposit their old naira notes with the apex bank even after the February 10 deadline as stipulated by the CBN Act.
Expressing satisfaction with the enthusiasm so far exhibited by Nigerians over the naira redesign and swap policy, he frowned at officials of some commercial banks that indulge in the unwholesome act of hoarding of the new naira notes.
Meanwhile, increase has been attributed to the shortage of cash (both old and new notes) in the last few days, because of the inability of some of the ATMs to dispense and the inability to withdraw money in the banking halls.
POS operators who usually charge N200 for a withdrawal of N10,000 and N100 for N5,000 now charge N1,000 and N500 respectively for the same amounts.
This increase in POS charges has caused growing outrage among residents of the ancient city.
Nigerian lamented on how they pay N1,000 to withdraw N11,000. We don’t know who we offend in this country. “We don’t have cash, ATMs are not dispensing, and the banking halls are a no-go area.
“The introduction of the ten per cent per transaction is unfortunate. You cannot withdraw without paying ten per cent. They collect N500 for N5,000 withdrawal which is too much”.
Emefiele while giving reasons maintained that the naira redesign and swap policy was in the best interest of the country as it would curb the inflationary trend, stabilize the exchange rate of the naira to foreign currencies, and support security agencies in tackling the menace of banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities across the country.
He said: “What we have done if for the good of Nigerians notwithstanding temporary pains. All we need from you is to show understanding. The overriding benefit is to make the economy stronger and combat Insecurity. The overriding interest is to make Nigeria great.”
However, the explanation to why the CBN has embarked on the swap policy and redesigning causes temporary pains to a lot of Nigerians, POS operators adopt it as a strategy to make more money.