Some Point of Sale (PoS) operators are taking advantage of the rush by residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to meet Jan. 31 deadline for Naira swap to make brisk business.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Sunday in Abuja that some PoS centres visited had increased their charges from a minimum of N100 to N200 for cash withdrawals.
One of the operators, Kelechi Ugwu, said they charged that much because of the rigours of queueing at Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to get the new Naira notes.
She said, “yesterday, we went to more than two ATMs to withdraw just N45, 000 and we spent almost the whole day doing that.
“So the extra charge is for the stress we go through to get the new notes.”
Another PoS operator with the business name OV De-Light, located along Airport Road, was equally seen charging N200 per withdrawal, even for as low as N2,000.
The operator, who gave her name as Christy, said they had to charge that much because of how difficult it was for them to access the new Naira notes.
She said, “I was able to get only N20,000 and it was very difficult accessing it because of the long queues at ATMs.
“Unfortunatly, we cannot meet the demand because of the large number of people requesting for the new notes.”
NAN reports that some PoS were shut while those that were opened were not dispensing cash nor accepting old notes.
Some of them, who spoke to NAN said they were waiting for Feb. 1, to commence full operation, adding that they were finding it difficult to access the new Naira notes.
Similarly, traders are lamenting low patronage.
Some traders in Wuse Market, said the deadline for use of the old Naira notes had affected their businesses negatively.
According to them, when they reject the notes, customers simply walk away.
A woman, who did not want her name mentioned and deals in soft drinks, said she had lost more than five customers as at the time of the visit because she rejected the old notes.
She said most of the people having patronage in the market were those accepting mobile transfers.
“What am I selling that I will accept cash transfer.
“Customers only come to buy one or two bottles of soft drinks. Is that what I will accept transfer for?
“We cannot wait for this whole thing to be over because it is a frustrating situation,” she said.
NAN reports that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, had fixed Jan. 31 as deadline for the return of old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
The governor also announced that the Jan. 31 deadline was non-negotiable.
Meanwhile, the development has generated reactions from Nigerians as there have been calls for extension of the deadline.
The Senate and House of Representatives have also called for an extension of the deadline.