THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to prosecute point-of-sale (POS) operators who demand exorbitant charges on transactions.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, issued the threat today at a meeting with members of the diplomatic corps.
Emefiele, who admitted challenges in the implementation of the naira redesign policy that he introduced, said the PoS operators that would be prosecuted are those who charge above the stipulated amount.
He said that while this is truly a challenging time for Nigerians, things should not be exaggerated, especially by people in authority to create panic.
The ICIR had reported how point-of-sale operators had resorted to increasing their commission on transactions.
The ICIR investigations today revealed that as most Nigerians scramble in a last-ditch effort to obtain the new notes, PoS merchants who have them have been making brisk business overcharging their customers.
For a cash withdrawal of N5,000 that normally attracted a N100 commission, most PoS merchants have been charging N1,000, just as they have upped the normal commission of N200 on a N10,000 withdrawal to N2000.
“We are still not getting enough of the new notes from the banks. Even getting these new notes is a business secret now.That is why I have to increase my cost of transaction. I don’t even know how soon I will get new ones when I run out of these,” a PoS merchant, Yusuf Abdulraman, told The ICIR.
Many Nigerians are in a fix, with most businesses dragged down as a result of the currency redesign policy that officially commenced in December 15, 2022.
The implementation of the policy has been marred by slow-paced circulation of the redesigned currency, with the economy and businesses thrown into a spin as the CBN does somersaults on acceptance and rejection of the old notes.