Although naira shortage has started to progressively lessen as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) order to banks to dispense old notes to clients in conformity with the Supreme Court judgement, transaction fees imposed by Point of Sale (PoS) operators have decreased.
The old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes are still valid until December 31, 2023, according to a statement released by the CBN on March 13 and signed by Isa Abdulmumin, acting director of corporate communications.
This comes after the president said in a statement the same day that President Muhammadu Buhari never instructed the CBN and the federation’s attorney general to disregard the supreme court’s ruling.
When our correspondent visited some PoS operators in Lagos, they claimed that their fees had been lowered due to the increased use of naira notes.
A PoS agent at Mile 12 Market in Lagos named Bilikisu Mohammed claimed to have decreased the fees for each withdrawal.
“Unlike earlier, when I charged N3,000 on every 10,000, I now charge N600 on every N10,000. This is due to the fact that we can now obtain financing from banks as opposed to the past, when we were compelled to purchase goods from traders or gas stations, said Mohammed.
Dapo Olagoke, a PoS agent at Ketu Market in Lagos, claimed that since banks started giving out old N500 and N1,000 notes, her fees have decreased.
“There is more money in circulation right now, and banks now give out cash. Demand and supply, rather than us, decide what we price, according to Olagoke.
“I was forced to close my business due to the naira shortage since I was unable to obtain cash to deliver to consumers. Since I can now acquire money from the bank, I was able to resume my business when old notes became legal cash once more.
Mary Anyawu, a PoS operator in Ojodu Berger, Lagos, claimed that due to the shortage, she is now charging N400 on every N10,000 instead of the N1,500 she was last week.
Julie Anyadike, a fashion designer at Festac, claimed that since the naira crunch began, she has been somewhat relieved of the burden of paying high PoS operator fees. “Today, instead of a N3,000 charge, I was charged N1,000 for N10,000. I hope they cut it even further,” she continued.
From 96.3 million in January to 113.5 million in February 2023, the number of PoS transactions climbed by 17.9%. According to the most recent data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, the value of PoS transactions climbed by 9.5 percent month over month, from N807.2 billion to N883.5 billion.
“We have also noticed that some Nigerians are capitalizing on the old naira transition to charge exorbitant fees or demand cash payment on the false pretense that PoS machines don’t work, especially at petrol stations,” said Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN, who announced the naira redesign program in October 2022. Nigerians are suffering as a result of these self-serving measures for personal financial gain, which could endanger their lives and way of life.