Cash crunch: Banks, businesses lament scarcity of currency notes

The expected improvement in supply of  cash to the banks is yet to materialise as PoS agents and other business owners lament the crushing impact of the ongoing cash crunch on patronage.

Vanguard investigation showed that two weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, directed banks to comply with the Supreme Court that extended use of the old naira notes till December 31st this year, most Nigerians find it difficult to access cash from the banks. 

Bankers who spoke to Vanguard yesterday said supply of cash to banks has not improved.   

According to a banker who spoke on condition of anonymity, “The cash supplied to our branch is between N500,000 and N1 million per day. This is a branch that used to get about N70 million per day before the cash crunch.”

Vanguard  visits to banks around Igando and Ikotun in Lagos yesterday    show   that some banks didn’t pay customers due to non-availability of cash while some rationed the available cash.

Also the banks were besieged by a crowd of  customers who stood under the scorching sun hoping   to get cash.

Mrs. Morenike Oladimeji, a PoS agent at Ikotun market said she visited Sterling Bank around 7 a.m and was given number 93.

“After so many hours of waiting, the Chief Security Officer addressed us saying that the bank  wanted to pay N10,000 old notes today but because of the crowd it has been   reduced to   N2,000 per customer. “I just left the place because that will not sustain my business.” 

On his part, Ahmed Oladipupo a PoS agent at Ikorodu said he couldn’t get any cash from his bank.

“I couldn’t get any cash   from my bank today. Since the beginning of this week they have been claiming that there is no cash. “My business has suffered a lot. Our charges have not reduced because the scarcity of cash is still there.

“We still source cash from other means despite the reversal of the old notes to legal tender.”

A bank customer, Mrs. Osamudiame Mary, said she paid N1,500 to withdraw N5,000 in Ikorodu this week.

“It is very devastating and bad that I will pay   40 percent as charges out of 100 percent of the money I want to withdraw.

“It is very painful. Where is the money? The economy is bad coupled with this naira situation. “As a matter of fact I withdrew N5,000 with N1,500 from a PoS agent in Ikorodu. They too don’t have access to cash.”

Mrs. Gladys Eboreme, a garri seller at Ikotun   market said her business has been struggling despite the release of the old notes. 

“I don’t have PoS terminal for transfers. Sometimes when people transfer to my account I don’t receive an alert and my account is not credited. 

“I have made losses since this naira issue started. 

“So I decided to collect only cash and this   has resulted in poor sales. But I still collect transfers from only those customers I know very well.”

Mrs Yemisi Tovide, a tomato seller at Ikotun market said: “ You can see my tomatoes are getting soft.

“I bought two baskets of tomatoes since Monday and this is the last set. 

“Before, within a week I sold more than 10 baskets. 

“The naira scarcity has reduced customer patronage because I don’t accept transfers nor do I have a PoS terminal.

“I do only cash and people prefer using PoS and transfer.

“There have been no changes in sales today even with the release of old notes by the CBN.  I pray God will take control of this situation.”


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