Naira scarcity cuts Christmas joy as banks shut down 

This year’s Christmas celebration has been described as one of the worst after the COVID era. Nigerians lament that besides the high prices of food, they are being forced to buy naira at a very exorbitant price.

To compound the misery further went on a two day holiday, leaving their ATMs empty.

The federal government had declared Monday and Tuesday as public holidays.

The closure of the institutions has spurred concerns among stakeholders about the potential worsening of cash-related challenges for Nigerians. Banking advisories have urged customers anticipating transactions during this period to resort to electronic banking services.

Prominent banks like UBA and Wema Bank communicated to their customers about the closure encouraging them to utilize their digital channels for banking needs during this period.

However, reports indicate widespread frustration due to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) running out of cash nationwide.

This shortage impacts daily transactions and raises questions about the reliability of the financial infrastructure, particularly concerning the ease of access to cash.

The scarcity significantly affects segments of the population who rely on cash to conduct their transactions, including small businesses, street vendors, and those without access to digital payment systems.

The rise in charges for cash withdrawals through Point of Sale (POS) transactions further burdens Nigerians grappling with soaring costs.

The challenges contribute to the depreciation of the naira and worsen exchange rate issues due to the reduced availability of cash within banks and the financial system.

Industry analysts warn that this situation could lead to increased cash hoarding by banks, businesses, and individuals, thus affecting liquidity and further impacting the Purchasing power of citizens.