There is a shortage of Naira notes in Akwa Ibom State, even though the Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that the old notes will still be valid after the December 31 deadline.
Residents, especially traders and filling station owners, are hoarding the new notes because they are afraid that the Supreme Court’s order to stop accepting the old notes by December 31 is still in effect.
The Federal government has asked the Supreme Court to extend the deadline, citing the current economic volatility as a reason. They believe that if the old notes are no longer accepted, it could lead to an economic crisis similar to what happened during the cashless policy era.
Some residents in Akwa Ibom are already making panic withdrawals from banks. They are not convinced that the government’s request will be granted and want to secure their money before the deadline.
Traders who profited from the cashless policy by selling cash to Point Of Sales (POS) operators are now hoarding cash. This has caused a scarcity of cash in banks and ATMs, making it difficult for people to withdraw money.
People are frustrated with the lack of cash availability and the actions of those hoarding cash. They believe it is causing unnecessary hardship for the masses. Some are questioning why the Central Bank governor did not address this issue during his screening process.
POS operators in other local governments of the State are buying cash from traders in Uyo at a low rate to keep their business running. They are unable to withdraw more than N20,000 from the bank, so they rely on buying cash from others.