The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a warning to the federal government concerning the ongoing cash shortage in the country. The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, highlighted concerns over the situation, emphasising its dire implications for citizens just days before the Christmas festivities.
Bank customers continue to face significant hurdles in accessing cash for daily needs, despite reassurances from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Reports indicate cash rationing by banks and malfunctioning ATMs, leading to frustration among consumers.
Expressing deep dissatisfaction, Ajaero cautioned the government and the CBN of an imminent mass protest if prompt action is not taken to address the naira shortage. He highlighted the hardship endured during past cash crunches and questioned the justifications put forward for the current situation, deeming them unacceptable.
The NLC criticised the impact of this scarcity on ordinary Nigerians, citing increased time spent in banks and additional costs incurred to access their funds. They condemned the exploitation by Point-of-Sale (PoS) operators, who charge substantial fees for accessing cash, particularly those reliant on physical transactions.
The labour union emphasised that these policies disproportionately affect impoverished citizens, urging the government to alleviate the cash crunch immediately and ensure transparent communication about steps taken to address the situation.
Reports on December 19th revealed widespread challenges in meeting customers’ cash needs across banks in Abuja and Lagos. Instances of ATM cash unavailability and reduced withdrawal limits surfaced, attributing the scarcity to hoarding by some individuals despite reassurances from the CBN regarding adequate cash circulation.
Speaking anonymously, bank officials pointed to the shortage, highlighting the struggle to source cash from other branches to meet customers’ demands.
While the CBN denies causing the scarcity intentionally, experts and banking officials express concerns about the true causes behind the ongoing cash crunch, urging swift intervention to prevent further economic strain on Nigerians.