The amount of money exchanged through Point of Sales (PoS) terminals in November totaled N759.2 billion, which was a record for the last 11 months of the year.
This information was provided by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), which also stated that 1.62 million PoS terminals were deployed by merchants and others in Nigeria in November.
The revelation of the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) “cash withdrawal limit” and the release of the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes have caused PoS agents to complain about banks’ rationing of cash.
Since the introduction of the new Naira notes, according to Angela Nnana, a PoS agent in the Lagos suburb of Ajao Estate, it has become more challenging to obtain 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.”
In fact, according to NIBSS figures, 703, 208 PoS terminals were deployed in total between January and November 2022). However, there were 915,519 deployed PoS in the nation as of December 2021.
However, there is still a discrepancy between the number of deployed devices and the registered PoS. As of November of this year, 2.363 million PoS devices had been registered nationwide according to NIBSS data, which means that 744,987 terminals have either not yet been installed or have ceased to function.
When compared to the N560.2 billion registered in the same month last year, the November result represented a 35% rise in transactions.
According to NIBSS data, Nigerians spent a total of N7.56 trillion on PoS in the last 11 months of this year. This amount has eclipsed the total reported for the entire year 2021, which was N6.4 trillion, even before adding the value of December.
Indeed, the PoS service has given many Nigerians, especially the young, employment prospects. Although the new CBN regulation has been modified, the agents emphasized that the impact of the policy would still be felt severely in their activities once it goes into force in January.
Victor Olojo, National President of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria (AMMBAN), had earlier warned that if the policy was not revised higher, the country would face a major loss of jobs.
The group made a list of requests, which included raising the weekly withdrawal cap for individuals to N500,000 and for corporations to N3,000,000.
AMMBAN added that it would keep key stakeholders informed of the situation.
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.”