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Naira: Rivers residents decry high charges by banks’ money agents

by Victorious
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Naira: Rivers residents decry high charges by banks’ money agents

Some residents of Rivers have decried high charges banks’ money agents popularly called Point Of Salen (POS) operators.

Some of the residents who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Port Harcourt, said that they were charged N1,000 to N1,500 to withdraw N10,000 while some said they were charged N700 for withdrawing N5,000.

Others said they were charged N2,500 for withdrawing 15,000, and N12,500 to withdraw N150,000.

The residents said they had been on queues for more than three hours due to the non-availability of cash at the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in the state.

A customer, Mr. Clifford Wilson, said that he had been to two different banks where he had a valid account to withdraw money but was unable to do so due to the large crowd at the banking hall.

Wilson also narrated to NAN how a POS operator charged him N700 to withdraw N5,000.

He said he had waited for hours on a long queue in the banking hall without payment before he opted for the POS service.

Mr. Prince Godspower, another resident, said that he was charged N2,500 to withdraw N15,000 at the POS point at the weekend.

He said he went to a first-generation bank in the morning to withdraw some money from the ATM but the ATM machine was not paying.

Godspower said he went to another bank and the ATM was also not paying.

He said that when he eventually entered the banking hall, he was paid N5,000 at the new generation bank instead of N20,000 that he wanted to withdraw.

“When I asked the teller she told me that the bank did not have enough money to pay, that was why they paid each customer N5,000.

“I went to POS and they charged me N2,500 to give me the remaining N15,000 that I was supposed to withdraw from the bank.

“I asked the POS lady, ‘why are you charging this high?’, she told me that she bought it high from bank.

“So, I think that the bank is also making more profit from the POS operators, that is why they pay us small amount so that they can sell more cash to POS people,” he said.

Godspower appealed to the CBN to restrict banks from selling the new naira notes to the POS money agents who resold the cash at a higher rate.

He also urged the CBN to caution banks and instruct them to load the ATM machines with enough cash to dispense to the public.

The NAN correspondent who monitored activities in some banks, noted that customers were paid not more than N10,000 in N5, N10, N20, N50, and N100 notes due to insufficient cash in the banks.

NAN reports that Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had on Feb. 2, 2023, directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to start payment of the redesigned naira notes over the counter subject to a maximum limit of N20,000 daily per customer.

Emefiele also urged Nigerians to exercise patience, saying that the CBN was working hard to address the challenge of queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) points across the country.

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