Naira swap: Slow take-off in Kaduna as traders battle mobile transfers, insist on cash
• Marketers, customers lament dilemma while vegetables, fruits perish
Some traders in Kaduna markets and metropolis have continued to reject interbank transfers, citing difficulties in withdrawing cash from banks.
Another reason, the traders gave was that local farmers in villages who sell goods to them were not accepting transfers; hence, the need to pay cash to purchase goods.
It will be recalled some traders, last week, also complained of poor Internet connectivity, which they said was hampering interbank transfers. Already, many traders have begun counting their losses due to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) naira swap policy. They complained of low sales, while others said they suspended business activities, unwilling to take the risk of selling on credit or getting outsmarted by fraudulent customers.
A food seller at Central Market, Mr. Adam Muhammad, said he stopped receiving transfers, because people who supply him in villages rejected the method of payment.
“We are unable to get cash from banks to buy fresh goods from our suppliers. The suppliers said said they would not accept transfers because they have no bank account,” Muhammed said.
Prominent among those lamenting the financial hardship caused by the naira swap were petty traders that sold perishable goods, like vegetables and fruits. These complained that they do not have bank accounts to receive payments from customers a tomato and pepper seller at Sheikh Gumi Central Market, Zubair Musa, who lamented low patronage, told The Guardian: “At this point I’m confused. My tomatoes and vegetables are rotting away, I can’t collect the old naira notes from my customers and they also don’t have new notes to pay. The worst part is that I have no bank account. I have old notes worth about N200,000 but no one is willing to accept them from me.”
One frustrated customer at Kurmin Mashi Market, who had visited to buy raw food, said the provision store he often patronised refused to sell to him on credit and neither accepted transfer nor the old notes he offered.
He called on government, saying: “Let the old notes coexist with the new. I came here to buy things and they are not accepting transfer. This is a very critical situation.”
A provision seller, also at Kurmin Mashi, Mallam Abubakar, said he stopped accepting transfers because he had sold many goods to customers and still had not received corresponding SMS alerts.
He said: “I sold a lot of goods on credit between today and yesterday. But I have stopped collecting transfer. There is a customer who bought goods of about N100,000. I have called his phone number about 30 times. He has not picked my calls.
“My goods are not selling fast. But I’m not willing to sell on credit either. People have claimed to do transfers of about a million naira and we are yet to get alerts. Our manager gave us an instruction yesterday to stop accepting transfers. It is either new notes or we keep our goods.”