POS operators reject old naira notes, increase charges by 50%
NEWS DIGEST – Less than seven days before the deadline for the redesigned naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, some Point-of-Sale, POS, operators in Bauchi have increased charges for transactions in the old banknotes.
A check by the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi on Tuesday showed that POS increased deposit charges by about 50 per cent.
The operators are now charging between N150 and N200 for N5,000 and N10,000 deposits as against N100, respectively.
While others simply refused transactions in the old naira notes a few days before the Jan. 31 deadline.
A POS operator, Grace Simon said she rejected the old naira because it was difficult for her to deposit it in the banks due to long queues of customers.
“There is a multitude of customers in the banks, you have to spend several hours on the queue to deposit the old naira notes.
“Honestly; I don’t have the strength, and that is why some of us increased charges for old naira notes.
“The charge for a transaction in the new banknotes still remains the same,” she said.
Another POS agent, Aliyu Babayo said they rejected the old naira notes in view of the new cash withdrawal policy.
“You can only withdraw a limited amount of money on the counter which is not enough to meet daily transactions.
“And the queues in the banks to deposit the old notes are long and hectic, this explains the increase in the transaction charge,” he said.
Another sale agent, Dorcas Silas said the redesigning of the naira negatively affected their operations, forcing some of them to close.
“With increased transaction charges in old naira notes, many customers would not patronize us, the situation is worrisome,” she said
A trader, Musa Akuyam said he refused to transact in the old currency to avoid counting losses.
“I rejected old naira notes because I couldn’t deposit the ones I have due to queues in the banks,” he said.
Reacting, Dr Abdulkadir Jibrin, Director Medical Services of the CBN, has warned against rejecting the old naira notes before the Jan. 31 deadline.
He said the apex bank had scaled up community sensitisation to create awareness on the redesigned naira notes.
He advised residents of the state to channel their complaints to the Consumer Protection Department, CPD, of the bank.
“We have channels, we have to sensitize and educate severally and we will continue to do that,” he said.