The scarcity of the Naira in Nigeria has prompted point-of-sale (PoS) operators to increase their service charges by 100%, affecting businesses and consumers across the country.
The secretary-elect of the Association of Mobile Money and Agent Banking Industry in Nigeria, Elegede Segun, told DAILY POST that PoS operators have raised their fees as a way of coping with the currency crisis.
He said the Naira shortage has hit PoS operators hard, forcing them to hike service charges to keep their businesses afloat. The shortage has also made agents charge more fees to deal with the harsh economic situation.
PoS agents have faced difficulties in accessing cash from Deposit Money Banks, and have resorted to non-conventional sources to get funds. This has resulted in a sharp increase in the charges paid by PoS agents when getting cash from alternative vendors, with fees jumping from N800 to N1,600 for cash amounts of N100,000.
“It has been difficult; our members have resorted to local arrangements to get cash. Due to the scarcity, our members have increased their fees. It is a demand-and-supply situation,” Segun said.
The scarcity has also had a domino effect, with banks limiting cash withdrawals at ATMs and over-the-counter services. With maximum withdrawals set at N50,000, customers are finding it harder to get the cash they need for their transactions. This has led to a rise in self-help measures, as people look for other ways to deal with the scarcity.
Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s assurances of having enough banknotes, the impact of panic withdrawals has worsened the scarcity of the Naira, leaving Nigerians struggling with the consequences of the currency crisis.