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Residents, POS Operators Decry Scarcity of New Naira Notes in Kano

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Lukman Abdulmalik
Residents, Point of Sale (POS) operators, and traders in Kano State have decried the scarcity of the new Naira notes, stressing that the new policy is negatively affecting their businesses.
Several business transactions have been truncated due to insufficient funds caused mainly by the scarcity of the new naira notes and the refusal of some business owners to accept bank transfers.
Millions of residents in Kano continue to grapple with the hardship amid the cash crunch.
As the scarcity of the new naira notes of N200, N500, and N1,000, persists, major sales outlets across the city have refrained from collecting the old currency as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Reports revealed that many businesses are suffering as a result of the scarcity.
Ali Sani Salihu a POS operator at Gaida Gida, Kumbotso Local Government Area (LGA) lamented that the inflow of cash has clamped his business.
He said: “Since President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast that the old Naira notes were no longer legal tender, I found it hard to access the new ones, not even the old N200 notes that are supposed to be circulation until the 10 of April this year.
“I have attempted to stay in a queue at various banks to get just a small amount of new Naira notes for my business, but the waiting usually turned out futile.
“The scarcity of these new Naira notes has made my business unable to progress as there is no flow of transactions the way it used to be.
“My POS business has been badly affected, so, I just started a laundry business to support myself.”
Another POS operator at Sabon Gari Market, Fagge LGA, Abdullahi Uwaisu, decried, “this policy is seriously disturbing, I hardly make reasonable transactions now, because I don’t have cash.
“As the government knows, most POS operators depend on cash; the charges we make from each transfer are our gain.”
Uwaisu revealed that “I currently don’t make a profit, most people who visit my business center are people looking for cash, and sometimes I close shop and sleep at home.
“I have once slept at an ATM gallery at UBA Bank, Sharada branch to withdraw some money, but I wasn’t able to get the money because of the huge number of people who were in the queue.”
A trader, Sabiu Usman Tofa at Dorayi Babba section of Dala LGA also expressed his worries, “transactions are not like before; the introduction of this cashless policy is pushing making record business loss; sometimes when I transfer funds to a third party for a customer it is recorded as not successful while in their accounts have been debited without me getting credited.
“At times, I give out the goods in anticipation of getting the transaction alert while some other customers repeat the transfer transaction severally, some even get debited twice.
“This policy is seriously causing affecting my business, the unavailability of cash has made me stop buying grains due to the fact that traders in rural markets deal with cash, not transfer,” he said.
Another trader who sells vegetable oil and palm oil at Tarauni Market in Tarauni LGA, Aliyu Manya narrated that: “I hardly make profit like before; there is less patronage from customers.
“I personally do not accept transfers anymore because whenever I go to the market to buy oils products, the wholesalers do not accept transfers, they ask for cash.
“This has made business tough, as I hardly sell 5 bottles of groundnut oil a day.”
It was observed that most petty traders and businesses that require physical cash to thrive are gradually crashing.
In an interview, some people cried out that the cashless policy is a new form of hardship created by the government.
Musa Nura Muhammad a resident of Zawachiki in Kumbotso LGA said: “I have been suffering with no foodstuff in my house; the little cash I have in my bank account has refused to be transferred due to network issues.
“Some shop owners here do not accept bank transfers; they only need cash for their business and accessing the cash is hard.
“I want the government to normalize everything by printing more cash into the system, I think this will ease the scarcity, and hardship and make life simple for the masses,” he suggested.
One, Usman Saleh, a resident of Yankaba in Nassarawa LGA said both the POS operators and business owners are not helping matters.
He complained that the POS operators who have the new Naira note charge excessively for a single transaction.
“Can you believe that some of these POS operator charge as much as N300 per N1,000 only transaction, in other cases, the more money you need, the more they charge you.
“The traders on the other hand are refusing to accept bank transfers from mobile phones; they give flimsy excuses of fake alerts and unsuccessful bank transfers,” he disclosed.
My advice is we that should learn to be compassionate with ourselves while we live with this policy that the government has introduced….”the cashless policy.”
It could be recalled that the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday, at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting said that the January 31 deadline to phase out the old N1,000, N500, and N200 remains sacrosanct.
Also, the CBN Deputy Director of the Reserve Management Department, Mohammed Solaja, said that the apex bank is committed to making the new notes available.
He said that the notes have been supplied to the banks, and the CBN is working on ensuring that the notes are available.
And, the CBN Deputy Director of the Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, Mrs. Monsurat Vincent, said that people would gain more by embracing cashless banking.
She said the ultimate goal of the CBN is to ensure that people begin to carry out their transactions electronically to save costs and resources.

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