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Businesses Come To Standstill In FCT Amid Scarcity Of New Naira Notes

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Traders and Transporters in Bwari town, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have said that their businesses have almost come to a standstill amidst the scarcity of new naira notes.

The residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said that the situation has left everyone frustrated.

Mr Donatus Okey, a shop owner, said that not many have come to make purchases in his shop in almost a week due to the situation on ground.

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“Everybody is out there trying to access the new naira notes in large queues at various cash points.

“Nothing seem to be working now, business is just slow, we are almost begging for patronage.

“As you can see, it is not different with some of my neighbors who have also closed shops to go and look for cash to make transactions,” he said.

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According to him, few customers that come around tried to make transfer payments but have been unsuccessful because bad networks.

“It is frustrating. We just pray the situation doesn’t linger,” he said.

Also, Mr Mufutau Babajide, a taxi driver, said that he was forced to park his vehicle for a day to sort out how to get cash for fuel and other transactions.

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Babajide, while narrating his experience, described as unfortunate how Nigerians have taken advantage of the situation to extort one another in the process.

“Imagine, I went to get fuel with my bank debit card and the filling station attendant told us all on the queue to go get cash before they can sell to us.

“I had to park my car to go and look for cash at a nearby PoS operator who charged me N1,500 for N10,000 withdrawal.

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“When I complained about the charges, he said that they couldn’t get cash from the banks; so, they have to buy cash from the same filling station attendants after they collected payments from their customers,” he said..

Babajide said that some other cash operators charge N3,500 for N10,000 cash withdrawal, depending on their source.

“You can see how we continue to frustrate each other in this country.

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“I cannot even add this to my transportation fare because there are no passengers on ground.

“People are already stranded and movement has slowed down since this week because of the scarcity,” he said.

He appealed to commercial banks to swiftly intervene by providing sufficient cash for withdrawals at the ATMs.

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Also speaking, Hajiya Sa’adatu Aliyu, another resident, decried the situation, while praying for divine intervention.

Narrating her experience, Aliyu said that she visited an ATM to withdraw N20,000 but was asked to go into the bank as the ATM was not dispensing.

“Inside the bank, we were told that we could only get N5,000 each no matter how much we wanted to withdraw.

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“As if that was not enough, they later said we could only get N2,000 each.

“You ask people to deposit their monies and then determine how much they can cash out when they have need for their monies and what if N2,000 cannot meet my needs at that moment,” she said.

She advised the commercial banks to make available lower denominations like N100 or even the N50 cash, to ease the suffering if Nigerians.

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“If we are here having a hard time getting cash, I cannot imagine what my rural family and friends are experiencing at the hinterlands.

“I don’t understand what should be happening but we’ll keep praying for the country,” Aliyu said.

She, however, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to resolve the issue of scarcity of the new notes before the Feb. 10 deadline.

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