A strong indication emerged on Wednesday of an improvement in the scarcity of naira in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, as residents are able to use commercial banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
DAILY POST correspondent visited some banks and found shorter queues while bank customers acknowledged they spent fewer hours to get cash.
At Jaiz Bank, close to the old market in Lokoja, customers were seen withdrawing money from ATMs in a seamless process and in an orderly manner from 10 am to 2:30 pm on Wednesday.
Some of the customers who spoke with DAILY POST praised Jaiz Bank for a well-organized process of money withdrawal from its ATMs.
DAILY POST noted that, unlike the chaos that prevailed a few weeks ago, activities at the ATM points of some of the banks visited were devoid of the presence of uniform personnel.
As expected, improvement in the ease of withdrawing money from banks affected the outrageous charges by POS operators.
At the peak of the cash crunch, many POS operators in Lokoja cashed in on the ugly development to charge customers as high as N300 and N400 per N1,000 withdrawal instead of the customary N200 charge per N5,000.
Bank customers, who could not exercise patience to withdraw from ATMs, told DAILY POST they used POS, paying between N100 and N150 per N1,000 withdrawal.
They called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to make more banknotes available to commercial banks to dispense to more customers.
Such a development, they argued, would reduce customers’ dependence on POS operators and invariably force them to revert to normal charges.
Meanwhile, more traders in the city continued to accept the old naira notes as legal tender on Wednesday, giving a strong indication that the cash crunch may soon become a thing of the past and therefore pave the way for ease of business transactions in the state and the country at large.