Fuel Shortages And New Naira Notes Make Nigerians’ Problems Worse
Many Nigerians are not having the greatest of times right now since they have had to deal with persistent fuel shortages, poor power supplies, inflation, and a rush to meet a new deadline for the removal of outdated currencies from circulation during the last several months.
Many Nigerians flocked to gas stations, banks, and automated teller machines (ATMs) over the weekend in quest of limited and expensive gasoline as well as fresh naira notes after depositing old banknotes in accordance with an order from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Nigerians bemoaned the difficult task of finding new currency because many market women, small business owners, and drivers of commercial vehicles refused the old banknotes out of concern that they would not be able to deposit them in the banks before the deadline was extended.
While N1,000 notes are easily accessible at ATMs and banks that have the new notes, this is not true for N500 and N200 notes, which have lesser denominations. Banks did not carry the N100 notes that had not been redesigned.
Many Nigerians seeking to board commercial trucks over the weekend using outdated currency were left stranded, while those who went to the market were unable to complete purchases or get their balance using the outdated currency.
Due to the limited supply of N1,000 notes, previous notes used as a balance for transactions below N1,000 were often rejected, resulting in a large number of uncompleted transactions.
Though CBN claimed that its initiative was not designed to starve Nigerians of the currencies, but encourage cashless transactions, the alternative platforms of online transfers, point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and USSD are beset with challenges of failed and incomplete transactions, leaving many Nigerians frustrated.