Cash Scarcity Persists Despite CBN’s Assurance of Availability

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The lingering cash scarcity has resulted to customers’ continued groan and frustration as they resort to high cost Point of Sale (PoS) services to get cash.

In November 2023, the CBN said there is sufficient stock of currency in the banking system and warned the public against panic withdrawal. But many Nigerians still struggle to get enough cash from banks, despite the Apex bank’s assurance of sufficient stock of currency in the country,

Some bank customers confirmed that they no longer visit banks or use Automated Teller Machines because they are often empty.

“Getting cash has been very challenging. Since December last year, I have only been able to perform cash withdrawals from the ATMs from three out of the ten banks around me. I don’t visit the bank counters; It’s time-wasting. The most I got from the ATMs was 20,000 naira. And some bank ATMs only dole out cash for their customers. FCMB for example. First Bank and GTB are worse. Five ATMs and none will be functioning,” Yinka, an FCMB bank customer said.

A GTbank customer said he resorts to POS operators for cash, although he complained that the charges are high.

“It’s been a while since I did an over-the-counter withdrawal because of the queue. And for the ATMs, recently, I’ve stopped walking down to the ATM because these POS guys are easily accessible. But I also noticed that most times when I attempt to withdraw from the ATM, it’s unable to dispense. So I just give up, honestly,” Adekunle, a GTbank customer said. “But then, the N200 POS charges go a long way, but it’s better than being stranded,” he added.

An Opay Bank customer also complained of exorbitant POS charges when she used one during interstate travel. “I use POS, but the charges are sometimes expensive. I travelled to Ekiti state during the festive period, and on getting to Ilesa, the lady collected N1200 for N10,000. So I do more transfers”, Marvel, a recent graduate of linguistics said.

Customers’ responses when asked questions revealed that they now rely on bank transfers, and prefer to ply the cashless route. “I can’t remember what a bank’s interior looks like; banks and ATMs aren’t as easy to access as POS shops. Instead, I just do transfers,” Caleb Adekunle, another bank customer said.

However, a Fidelity bank customer, Damilola, said: “I got cash from a Fidelity bank ATM yesterday. I got up to N40,000 from Chemist, Akoka branch, she said

“I got 20,000 from a Wema bank branch in Ikeja. The cashier initially said I could only get N10,000, but when I got to the counter, the cashier announced that we could now get up to N20,000. As I got closer, she whispered that I could get up to N40,000 if I wanted. I was surprised,” said Faramade, a Wema Bank customer.

The POS operators said that there’s a long queue at ATM stands now and they are mostly their fellows POS operators: “we go to almost five ATMs to get substantial amounts and its not still enough and then supplement it with money we get from traders.”

“I was able to get N100,000 cash at Stanbic IBTC bank, while other banks I had earlier gone to imposed N10,000- N50,000 limits on their customers,” a customer said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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