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Written by on December 6, 2023

Nigeria’s Point of Sale (PoS) operators are facing a new challenge: a severe shortage of naira cash at banks. This has forced them to return to buying cash from traders and petrol station attendants, often at inflated prices.

As a consequence, PoS operators have been compelled to increase their transaction charges by 100%, charging up to N200 for a N5,000 cash withdrawal. This significantly burdens Nigerians who rely on PoS services for everyday transactions.

The root of the problem lies in the banking system itself. Nigerian banks are grappling with a cash shortage, making it difficult for them to meet customer withdrawal demands. This has led to rationing of cash at ATMs and branches, particularly in areas like Surulere, Mushin, Kirikiri, Mazamaza, and Ejigbo.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has attributed the cash scarcity to two main factors:

High volume withdrawals: Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are reportedly making large withdrawals from CBN branches, exacerbating the cash shortage.

Panic withdrawals: Customers are withdrawing cash from ATMs in higher-than-usual volumes, further depleting available funds.

This dire situation leaves Nigerians struggling to access their own money and highlights the need for CBN and DMBs to work together to find a lasting solution. The current cash crunch is causing significant hardship and inconvenience, and it is vital that swift action is taken to address the issue.

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