The persistent scarcity of cash in the country has continued unabatedly leaving Nigerians at the mercy of commercial banks and POS operators.
Here in Imo state, it is easier for an Elephant to pass through the eye of a needle than for one to assess his money in the bank.
Since the CBN announced a deadline of January 31 for old 1000, 500 and 200 naira notes to be exchange for the newly designed notes confusion has been the order of the day.
Following the extension by ten days, the situation has unfortunately worsened as the new notes are not in circulation.
Few days to the January 31 deadline some shops in Owerri stopped collecting old notes demanding only new notes from customers.
A visit to the banks reveal the suffering residents of the state go through to get cash a customer who spoke to our correspondent says ” I have been here as early as 6am and it almost twelve noon I have not seen money to collect.” Upon investigation, 247ureports found out that banks are not paying customers over the counter forcing them to use the ATM facilities which cannot pay more than twenty thousand naira.
Despite the directive of CBN to banks to pay customers twenty thousand naira new notes over the counter, the banks have ignored that directive.
Tired of spending endless hours at the banks some of them resort to POS operators who have increased their charges by more than five hundred percent.
A withdrawal of ten thousand naira which used to cost between 150 and 200 naira now cost 1000 naira.
The scarcity of cash has forced most POS operators out of business. The lucky few who are still in business are the ones smiling to the bank.
Angered by the stress they had to go through to access their money, some customers were heard threatening to close down their accounts.
In the meantime, the federal government has assured Nigerians that the current scarcity of cash is temporary and should be seen as a sacrifice to achieve long term economic sanity
Minister of Finance Budget and National planning Zainab Ahmed said this while speaking at the ministerial briefing in Abuja
As we approach the February 10 deadline date it is feared that the situation may worsen as the newly designed notes are said to be in short supply.