Abuja (IP) - As the Naira cash scarcity continues to bit harder in Nigeria, people in the West African giant country continue to reveal their anger and the hardship they are facing which forced many small businesses to shut down.

Iran PressAfrica: Banks in Abuja, Kano, and Bauchi are scenes of long queues in which people struggle to withdraw money.

Iran Press learn that some people including women sleep at Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cubicle points while some leave their houses around 4:00 am to join the queues.

In October last year, the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would redesign the N1000, N500, and N200 notes to, promote a cashless society, tackle counterfeit money in circulation,n and manage inflation in the country.

Government workers shutdown Nigeria in protest

After redesigning the Naira notes, commercial banks accuse Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefele of not giving them enough cash to give people. By the order of the CBN, Banks have limited access to cash for withdrawals because of the scarcity of the new notes.

The Central Bank (CBN) said people can only withdraw twenty thousand in a day but later reduced to two thousand Naira. On the other hand, Nigerians continue to have been queuing to get the cash as the scarcity worsens.

Mercy a young lady from Calabar told Iran Press that "I came to withdraw money since 5:00 am but till now (5:00 pm) I have not withdrawn any money. Among the all banks, it is only Taj Bank that is paying money. Please (the government) release the cash, the suffering is too much. Our own money but we’re coming to the bank suffering, please Federal Government, release the cash. The pain is too much."

Another Nigerian, Abel Moses said ''As you can see, the situation is quite alarming and very annoying because this is your own money but you can't take it easy. So, I don't know what the Government is trying to achieve by making the masses undergo such hardship. It takes some people days to withdraw money. I spent more than two days but I couldn't withdraw ordinary twenty thousand Naira, my own earning money. "

Another young school girl, Rafi'a Yusuf in Bauchi State said "For three days I have been in the bank, I have been sleeping in the bank, making (school) notes in the bank. I have never eaten any (heavy), sweet food in the last three days now. One man came with a jeep and gave us water here in the bank. Things are not easy, especially for us students. We have books to read, and we want to go to classes but we cannot go. We don't have money, we have nothing.

She added: This thing is affecting us seriously. Many of us couldn't pay for our school projects. We have to do all these (readings, school attendance) before we can have formal education. We sleep in the banks; we cannot go to classes. We have to buy food, and even people that are providing for us from home, are complaining about the network. They cannot send us money."

Mrs. Mary Ola is a mother. She spoke to Iran Press angrily, saying ''This is a terrible punishment. Women are sleeping in the bank. Some leave their husbands. Marriages start to be scattered when some men disallow their wives to join the long queues in the banks. They (the authorities) are not helping us. We have here, some people never eat since morning. Someone came to the bank at 4:00 am. What is the essence of doing this in Nigeria? I am not happy with Nigeria. I want to remove myself from Nigeria"

Protests and Riots

In some parts of the Southern country, angry protesters attacked ATMs and banks, and blocked roads in frustration at the lack of cash.

What is not known is whether the outgoing president Buhari will order the Central Bank Governor to produce enough cash and make it available to the masses.

One month before the General election when Bola Ahmad Tinubu won the presidential seat, the President-elect said the current petrol scarcity and Naira notes redesign were ploy to sabotage his victory in the election.

He also promised to end all the embargos on cash withdrawal, oil scarcity, and university strikes as soon as he becomes president.


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