Abuja residents cry over scarcity of new naira notes, high charges by POS operators

Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried the scarcity of the new naira notes and high charges by POS operators in the territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that residents in Gwagwalada, Kuje and Abaji Area Councils said customers paid more than 10 per cent on every withdrawal.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank sought and obtained President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to extend the naira deadline swap to February 10.

However, some POS operators said the sharp increase in their service charges is due to difficulty accessing the new notes from the commercial banks.

A building engineer in Gwagwalada, Abraham Gado, who expressed unhappiness with the development, said that the exploitation strategy adopted by POS operators was not in the interest of the masses.

Gado said that the situation called for a rethink on the side of the POS operators and the commercial banks to do something drastic to address the problem to help cushion the hardship.

“I wish to appeal to the Federal Government, particularly the CBN and commercial banks, to adopt a stress-free strategy in the process of withdrawing old naira notes from circulation,” he said.

Mr Emmanuel Nonso, a trader in the Abaji market, said POS operators were charging N1,000 for every N10,000 transaction.

“The new naira notes are not much in circulation and buyers still bring the old naira notes to buy our goods because they need the new ones.

“The POS operators are charging us N1,000 for every N10,000 transaction, which is not good for our businesses,” he said.

A resident of Kuje Area Council, Mrs Eunice Madaki, said the new notes were not in circulation in the area, adding that the queues at ATM points were worrisome.

Mr Silas Lagi, a POS operator at Kuje Area Council, said the 10 per cent charges on each withdrawal were based on an agreement among POS operators in the area.

Lagi added that the new notes were only available; sometimes they went to withdraw money at the commercial banks in the area.

“If you know what we go through to get money from our banks to do this business, you will not complain or blame us for the increased charges.

“The problems and the struggle associated with getting money from the bank to pay customers who only want to withdraw is something else,” he stated.

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