The persising scarcity of naira notes in the country is partly a creation of commercial banks to exploit Nigerian masses.
A survey carried out by Adadareporters shows that point of sale operators ‘buy’ both new and old naira notes from banks, and charge their customers exorbitantly during cash withdrawals.
Ikechukwu, a POS operator at Otigba junction in front of Keystone Bank, Enugu, said, “There is no cash in circulation. I get cash from officials of banks. If they give me N500, 000, I pay extra N50, 000 to them. I will then charge customers N1,000 for each N5, 000 withdrawn. If it is new naira notes, I charge more.
“The good thing is that within two hours, such money is exhausted. Some customers want cash at all cost.”
A POS operator at New Market, Enugu, said, “I get money from filling stations. I give them commission. I make more money under this condition. Some customers simply want to know how much we have, plus the charges, and they will collect all.
“I make about N30, 000 daily. But it depends on the availability of cash.”
At Nsukka, most POS operators lack money. One of them operating along Enugu road by Ikpa junction said, “The problem is cash. If I have enough, I can build a house within this period. I used to get money from banks, but politicians have taken over.
“Somebody in the bank told me that politicians place orders ahead of arrival of notes. Once new naira notes arrive, politicians will bring old notes and replace with new notes. That is why there is long queues at ATMs.”
A customer at one of the sales points said, “I am ready to pay any amount to withdraw my money. It is difficult to believe that I can’t access my savings in banks. Our leaders want to kill us. They are saying cashless policies, but how many petty food vendors will allow cash transfers to sell their products?
“I still don’t know the objectives of these policies. The money is simply with politicians while poor masses suffer. This is the right time to declare a nationwide protest.”
POS operators at Nsukka charge a minimum of N1, 500 for each N5, 000 withdrawn, our correspodent gathered.