More than 50% PoS Operators Close Shops over Naira Scarcity

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According to information obtained, as the shortage of new and old naira notes gets worse, more than 50% of point-of-sale operators have shut down their businesses.

Hussein Olanrewaju, the national chief aggregating officer of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, disclosed this on Monday. He claimed that the impact of the ongoing shortage of new and old naira notes had made the situation of their members worse.

While stating that agents need to be given priority access to the new notes, he regretted that some Nigerians had abused the circumstance to demand exorbitant fees.

He said, “Operators are licensed bodies that provide platforms which agents leverage on. Currently, agents do not have any preferential treatment to deliver this service, hence, more than 50 per cent of agent shops have been closed down as we speak.

“Some agents, however, go extreme to buy these monies and those who do not, move from one ATM point to another incurring lot of cost in the process which will also reflect on the service charge.

“It’s worthy to note that some Nigerians have taken advantage of this situation to charge people unreasonable charges.”

Speaking further, Hussein emphasized that the limited number of agents chosen for the program could prevent the ongoing policy intended to exchange currency in unbanked areas from accomplishing its goal.

He continued by saying that increasing the number of agents remained the best way to relieve the financial strain that Nigerians were currently experiencing.

“As designed by the CBN, the exercise is going as expected. However, it doesn’t really translate to profit for agents. Out of over 1.4 million agents, only 30,000 agents were picked to participate in the cash swap programme, the number is too small and can barely effect any change.

“Agents are the ones available and accessible to ease the financial stress Nigerians are currently facing,” he concluded.

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