Customer confidence dips with unabating naira crisis

By Oghale Mafuru

The lingering naira crisis following the policy of the Federal Government has left a bitter taste in the mouths of bank customers, and an unpleasant experience that may destroy the image of the financial sector in Nigeria.

MARKETING EDGE observed that at the gate of most banks, there were huge crowd of customers who made an early morning call at the various banks to see if they will be lucky to access the new bank notes while some others are reported to have spent the previous night at the banks Automated teller machines, ATMs.

The consumers who are in great despair and anguish oftentimes sitting on the bare floor, apparently in a state of confusion, lamented loudly causing the bank staff for the ill-treated meted out on them. Some of the consumers with babies strapped to their backs wondered how to cut through the mammoth crowd.

Intelligence report revealed that some banks made a payout to consumers recently but the money dispensed was between N2000 and N10, 000 per customer.

Speaking to MARKETING EDGE, Idowu Fadipe while recounting his ordeal said that efforts to access cash for weeks had proved abortive.

“When we go to the bank to collect money, if is so difficult to get your own money. I had emergencies which required money, I waited on the queue for hours only to be told that I there is no money. Other days when I came, they said they can only give N2000. What should I do with that amount of money? he asked rhetorically.

Pat Amami another bank customer stated that she had to a walk long distance to the bank only to meet other customers waiting in a queue. According to her, she was discouraged to wait because previous experiences with the bank had shown that it will be an effort of futility.

“I heard banks were dispensing cash so I decided to come, only for me to see this long line of people waiting for their turn. The gate of the bank is locked and no of the bank staff is here to attend to us. I don’t know why the bank people are doing this to us. It is very bad” she said.

This phenomenon has been the case for over three weeks with many desperate consumers resorting to unexpected means as some consumers went unclad at bank halls to protest and buttress their displeasure.

Consumers’ dilemma is made worse as bank apps are reportedly not operational with many failed tractions recorded. This has further aggravated the pain of consumers who try to avoid cash payments by shopping at the supermarkets.

It was observed that at various supermarkets visited, consumers are still encountering challenges making seamless payment transfers as well as payments via ATMS, USSD and others.

The recent monetary policy and naira redesign initiative of the government which is unpopular among Nigerians led to cash scarcity which was further exacerbated by fuel scarcity. The Nigerian commercial banks have been unable to dispense the new naira notes to customers while many others were reported to have hoarded the bank notes for sinister motives.

All over the country, the seeming refusal or reported inability of the various commercial banks to dispense the new bank notes led to a state of anarchy as banks were attacked following protests in major cities of the country.

The President in a nationwide broadcast directed that only the old N200 bank notes will remain a legal tender alongside the newly printed notes. He mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to distribute the 200 naira and collaborate with law enforcement agents to prosecute individuals and institutions that will sabotage the process of circulation.

Since the telecast, Nigerians are still grappling with cash scarcity as most of the Commercial banks are either closed or operating partially. Huge crowds of errantly looking consumers flood the bank gates daily.



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