By Adeyemi Adepetun
Financial transactions carried out via the Point of Sales (PoS) terminals in November hit N759.2 billion, the highest in the last 11 months of the year.
The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), which revealed this, also informed that the total number of PoS terminals deployed by merchants and others in Nigeria grossed 1.62 million in November.
This is coming as PoS agents lament cash rationing by banks, especially since the announcement of the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ‘cash withdrawal limit’ and introduction of the new N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes.
Angela Nnana, a PoS agent in Ajao Estate, a suburb of Lagos, said since the introduction of the new Naira notes, it has become difficult to get cash from banks.
“On December 20, I went to my bank, a new generation bank to withdraw N500, 000, after waiting for three hours, I was only handed N100, 000. The teller told me she acted based on an instruction from a superior officer.
“I went to meet the Bank Manager, who said they don’t have cash because of the instructions from the CBN. That was how I left,” she stated.
Another agent, Sulaimon Saka, who said almost the same thing as Nnana, however, added: “What I learnt from a top official of my bank is that some banks are warehousing the new Naira notes for some politicians, especially as the elections draw nears.
“I think the CBN should look into this and further make the new policy friendlier and make cash more available to the people.”
Indeed, NIBSS statistics showed that a total of 703, 208 PoS terminals were deployed from January to November 2022). But as of December 2021, the total number of deployed PoS in the country stood at 915, 519.
Gap, however, still exists between the number of registered PoS and the number of deployed machines. NIBSS data showed a total of 2.363 million PoS machines had been registered across the country as of November this year, meaning that some 744,987 terminals are either yet to be deployed or have become inactive.
Transactionwise, the November figure showed a 35 per cent increase when compared with the N560.2 billion recorded in the same month last year.
It can be deduced from NIBSS data that Nigerians have in the last 11 months of this year spent a total of N7.56 trillion over PoS. With December value yet to be added, this has surpassed the amount recorded in the full year 2021, which stood at N6.4 trillion.
Indeed, the PoS service has created job opportunities for several Nigerians, especially the youth. Though there has been an adjustment on the new CBN policy, which is expected to take effect come January, the agents noted that the impact of the policy would still be felt greatly in their operations.
Earlier in an interview, the National President of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria (AMMBAN), Victor Olojo, had warned that massive job loss looms in the country if the policy was not reviewed upward.
The association made specific demands, which include an upward review of the maximum withdrawal limit to N500, 000 weekly for individuals and N3m for corporate organisations.
continue to engage critical stakeholders on the development.
Olojo’s words: “AMMBAN believes the cashless policy in its current state hasn’t provided for Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria adequately.
“Even though the CBN Governor referred to the fact that Mobile Money and Bank Agents are spread across the country, which is one of the reasons why he strongly feels the country is ready for the cashless policy, the document puts the jobs of over 1.4 million agents on the line in its present state.
“This and many other germane reasons informed the decisions of the Association to engage the CBN, the National Assembly, and other relevant stakeholders.
“This is to ensure that while we show support for the cashless policy of the government through the CBN, the policy should recognise the categorisation of Agents’ accounts as it does individuals and corporate entities.”
Source: The Guardian