By Sade Adewale, Kayode Olabanji, Jimoh Ahmed, Adedotun Adeboye
Samuel Edu, Kayode Afolabi, Bukola Asekunowo Samson Sule &
There seems to be no respite yet for Nigerians who are cash strapped due to the new CBN cashless policy.
It was gathered that those who are worse hit by the policy are the unbanked Nigerians.
Many Nigerians who fall in this category of people without bank accounts include petty traders, artisans, commercial motorcycle operators among others.
Traders dealing in perishable goods such as tomatoes and pepper are experiencing low sales and losses as a result of the cash crunch.
The artisans and traders largely depend on petty cash to conduct their daily businesses.
In the last few days, many distraught Nigerians have been sighted frustrated at the ATM stands and bank halls.
Those who spoke with The Hope lamented poor economic activities at the informal sector as a result of the cash crunch, noting that it is gradually crippling the sector.
A commercial motorcyclist, Kayode Oni lamented low patronage of passengers as a result of shortage of naira notes.
“Prowling the streets since morning, I got only two persons, it is an experience I won’t forget in my life.
Also, a trader, Mr Alonge Olumide said the shortage of naira notes affect his sales.
A tricycle driver in Ondo town, Mr. Kayode Adeyemi said “after buying fuel at N400 at a petrol stations and we will be roaming the town without people to carry. It is not fair to us. Sometimes, I have to park at some junctions to see if I will get passengers there. Some people are in the banks trying to withdraw their money. Some people now choose to trek because they don’t have any money to pay. If this continues, I will have to park my tricycle for now because I cannot keep wasting my money on fuel.”
Another commercial motorcyclist, Mr. Ahmed Sikiru said “imagine how difficult it is for us now. Old notes will expire very soon and people are still giving us everyday. If I reject them, I will just be wasting my fuel because people don’t have the new ones. We will take the old naira notes to some petrol stations and they will reject them. People are not many on the road anymore because of these money and fuel scarcity. The government should do something about this.”
A barber, Mr. Abiodun Akinro said “after buying fuel at N420 per litre, we will sit down in the shop without customers coming. Some of those who even come to our shop that are our regular customers will even beg to barb on credit because they cannot withdraw their money. Some of them will come back to pay later when they have money.
A visit to some of the banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) showed how Nigerians besieged them in a bid to get cash.
However, after many hours on the queue, many returned home disappointed without any cash.
A video circulating on the social media showed a frustrated woman that stripped to her underwears in one of the branches of a Bank.
The middle-aged woman was demanding in the video that the bank should release her money to her, claiming her children could not go to school.
In another video, an aged man was also shown exhibiting his frustration.
He climbed the counter of a bank and pulled off his shirt, demanding that he should be given money to cater for his needs.
Some of them could not hold back their lamentations when speaking with The Hope.
“They asked us to drop money with us without giving us the new one in return. This is wickedness,” Mrs. Biola Ogjnoye lamented bitterly.
Report from Ondo North said the situation has also led to collapse of the economy in major communities.
Narrating his experience, a widow and mother of four, Mrs Kudirat Lawal, said she has not been getting enough sales from her pepper business because of the cash crunch.
On his own, Mallam Ashafa Waheed, a trader said he has been recording low sales in the last few days, but the situation became worse on Thursday as no single person came to ask him what he was selling.
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