As the naira scarcity crisis bites harder, many residents of Lagos are finding it difficult to commute or pay for services as transporters and traders in the state have rejected both the old N1000 and N500, and have also resisted collecting cash instead of transfer.
While many stay at home on Monday to avoid being caught in any violent protests, Blueprint gathered that many banks shut their gates with many aggrieved customers loitering around the premises.
According to Shina Dare, he couldn’t access cash at the weekend, and even when he tried PoS operators on his street, they wanted N1000 on a N5000 transaction.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the office today. I was at the ATM centre at the weekend, but couldn’t get any cash. PoS operators are charging 20 per cent of whatever amount you want.
“I understand that the federal government is only trying to ensure free and fair elections but we the common Nigerians are truly suffering. We need cash for transport fares because these commercial drivers only want cash, they don’t take payments through online transfers. I have money in my account. Transporters are not taking transfer, ditto for the traders,” he added.
Meanwhile, a transporter that plies the Iyana-ipaja-Ikeja axis said the reason they demanded cash is because they also needed cash to settle their bills, and going to a PoS operator is totally out of the question because of the exorbitant charges.
“I have a bank account, but if I allow payments into my bank account, how do I pay my own bills without incurring extra charges? I also need cash to buy water if I get thirsty on the job. Does the government think pure water sellers take online payments?”
“Government expects me to take the money to the CBN office in Lagos? With my kind of job? Who has that kind of time? I have to reject the notes because it’s also not accepted to buy items within my area when I get home,” another driver plying the Berger-Ikeja route said.
Another driver plying the Agege-Oshodi route in Lagos, who spoke on the reason for the rejection of the old notes, said “government is wicked”, adding that he collected the old notes last week but is shocked that by Thursday morning, the N500 and N1,000 notes cannot be spent following the president’s address.