Anambra residents lament persistent Naira Scarcity

Chinwe Onuigbo

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Residents of Anambra state, Southeast Nigeria have lamented the difficulty naira scarcity has continued to pose in their daily lives.

This is even as the Supreme Court ruled that the old Naira notes would remain as legal tender till December 2023.

The recent naira redesign and cashless policy in the country, have affected many sectors of the economy including; transportation, and other businesses in the service sector.
Voice of Nigeria visited some transport companies and commercial motor parks in Awka, and spoke with some drivers and passengers.
The drivers complained about low patronage. They said that passengers find it difficult to pay for their trips and therefore, resort to paying through transfer which was most times interfered with as a result of poor network service, causing delays and loses on their part.
According to some managers of various parks, the number of trips their parks cover per day has been greatly reduced because passengers do not have physical cash to travel.
They noted that some of their drivers are not technologically savvy, making it difficult for them to make the necessary purchases for a trip.
A market in Anambra state
Andrew Isong and Esther Bello, expressed dissatisfaction with how the policy is being implemented, noting that they are forced to spend more money to transport themselves as a result of exhorbitant Point of Sales, POS charges.
In a similar development,traders and buyers alike in Anambra State, have also continued to decry their daily ugly experiences in markets presently, as the negative effects of the recent naira swap and cashless policy bites harder on Nigerians.
This was observed when Voice of Nigeria visited Eke-Awka and Onitsha main markets on monitoring exercise to ascertain how traders and their customers fare in the present development in the country.
During the monitoring exercise, it was noticed that traders recorded little or no sales, as many of them were spotted seating and gazing without any customer to patronize them, while others were also seen struggling with either Point of Sales, POS machine or smart phones in effort to receive money from their customers through money transfer.
Customers on the other hand, were seen stranded and struggling for a means to make payments for goods they intend to purchase.
Some buyers who spoke to VON including a civil servant, Mr John Smart and Mrs Stella Eze claimed to have been in the market for over two hours trying to buy foodstuff and other necessities without success.
They attributed the difficulty to poor internet service which slows online transactions.
They lamented that many people can no longer feed or solve problems with their own money in the banks, especially the aged and those with little or no technology knowledge.
For their parts, traders, including Mr Chika Mbah and Mrs Ada Chima, explained that their daily sales drastically declined as they are sparingly patronized, even though some of them purchased POS machines to make things easier, but are still faced with network challenges.

The Naira redesign policy was announced in November 2022 by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It had said that the new notes will be in circulation from January 2023, while the old notes would cease to serve as legal tender by the end of January.

However, the massive deposit of old notes, without sufficient provision of the new naira notes has resulted in scarcity of currency.

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