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Nigerians Face Cash Crunch Ahead of Christmas

NLC warns of public protest over cash scarcity in Nigeria

by Victor Adetimilehin

Nigerians are feeling the pinch as they prepare for the Christmas season. A severe cash shortage has hit the country, making it hard for people to withdraw money from banks and ATMs.


Many customers have been queuing for hours at bank branches, only to be told that they can only get a limited amount of cash. Some ATMs are not dispensing cash at all, while others are charging high fees for withdrawals.


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has blamed the situation on hoarding of the naira by some individuals and businesses, as well as the increase in fake notes in circulation. The CBN has assured the public that it has enough cash to meet the demand and has distributed cash to its branches across the country.


However, many banks have not received any cash disbursement from the CBN, especially in the South-West region. Some banks have resorted to sourcing cash from their branches in Abuja and Kano to meet the needs of their customers in Lagos.


The cash crunch has also affected the operations of Point of Sale (PoS) operators, who provide cashback services to customers using debit cards. Some PoS operators have increased their charges from N100 to N400 per transaction, while others have stopped offering cashback altogether.


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the government and the CBN that a mass public protest is imminent if nothing is done to address the naira shortage. The NLC said the cash crunch was undermining the confidence of the public in the banking system and discouraging the citizenry from participating actively in banking.


The NLC also said the cash crunch was devaluing the income of poor Nigerians, who had to spend a lot of money to access their hard-earned income.


Based on a report by Punch, the NLC urged the government to take immediate and decisive action to alleviate the cash crunch and mitigate its impact on the people.


The cash crunch is not only a financial problem, but also a social one. It has the potential to disrupt the festive mood of Nigerians, who traditionally celebrate Christmas with family and friends. It could also affect the economic activities of traders, artisans, and small businesses, who rely on cash transactions to run their businesses.


The government and the CBN need to act fast to restore normalcy to the cash flow situation and ensure that Nigerians can enjoy the Christmas season without undue financial stress.

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