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Business News of Wednesday, 1 February 2023


New naira: Ondo POS operators accused of high charges

PoS machine and new naira notes PoS machine and new naira notes

Some residents of Lokoja, Ondo State have claimed that some Point of Sale operators in the state capital are charging customers too high to withdraw the redesigned naira notes.

Investigations conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on Tuesday showed that customers were paying 10 per cent on every withdrawal.

But some POS operators said that the sharp increase in their service charges was due to difficulty in accessing the new notes from the commercial banks.

“If you know what we go through to get money from our banks to do this business, you will not complain nor blame us for the increased charges,” one of the POS operators at Lokongoma quarters simply called Ms Joy, said.

She said, “If I tell you that for good three days I had no cash to do business, you may not believe me. Only today that I could open this my shop for business.

“The problems and struggle associated with getting money from the bank to pay customers who only want to withdraw is something else.

“There wouldn’t be much problem in paying cash to those withdrawing if other customers are paying but unfortunately the focus is on taking the old notes to the bank for new notes,” she explained.

Another POS agent, Mr Abdulrazak Ibrahim, at Natako quarters said that he was acting with the directive of his boss and so he could not reduce the charges.

“The 10 per cent charge on each withdrawal from us is based on agreement among POS operators in the state.

“Go anywhere in Lokoja to withdraw money from POS and you will pay the same service charge,” Ibrahim asserted.

But some customers who spoke to NAN on the issue described the incident as a rip-off.

A civil servant, Mrs Victoria, who expressed concern over the situation, said that the exploitation strategy adopted by POS operators was uncalled for “since the scarcity is not the fault of any Nigerian citizen.”

To Alhaji Usmam Jimoh, the “situation calls for a rethink on the side of the POS operators and the commercial banks to do something drastic to change the tide.

“I wish to appeal to the Federal Government particularly the CBN and the commercial banks, to adopt a better strategy in withdrawing the old naira notes from circulation that will be stress-free.”

NAN reports that in spite of the 10 days extension by CBN on the collection of old naira notes, Automated Teller Machines and commercial banks in Kogi State are still filled up with customers in search of the redesigned naira notes.