Naira scarcity: Lagosians lament challenges in buying food items

“The only option is to buy the Naira at a premium, its the sad reality and the government really needs to come to our aid.

File photo of Food items in a typical market

Some Lagos State residents have lamented the challenges they face in buying food items due to the Naira scarcity.

The residents shared their experiences in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

Mrs Martha Eneziakpo, a mother and an accountant, expressed her displeasure over having to pay extra charges for mobile transfers for items purchased at local markets.

Eneziakpo said that it had not been easy getting things from the local markets with traders refusing transfers while the ones willing to accept transfers add extra costs.

“For example, some traders add as high as N500 on any item paid for mobile transfers. They claim it is bank charges, imagine getting a product of N3,000 for N3,500.

“Presently, I make do with what I have already in the house and patronise supermarkets more as they operate with Point of Sale (PoS), just to avoid unlawful charges from some of our local traders,” Eneziakpo told NAN.

On her part, Mrs Lilian Udodi, another resident in Ikeja, said past relationship with the vendors had made it easy for her to purchase items via mobile transfers.

“So, as far as buying foodstuffs from vendors at this time, I must say I have not faced much difficulty.

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“This is mainly because the vendors are used to me and they say I am credit worthy.

“They allow me to transfer my payments because they trust me but the issue is with the bank network. So, you try to transfer and it hangs or declines, that is a problem.

“I solely depend on transfers to buy food items, my vendors receive transfers once I tell them that is the only option I have,” Udodi said.

Mrs Queen Edet, a resident of Gbagada, said the scarcity of the Naira notes had really affected the masses because getting food items had been difficult.

“The traders are not always willing to collect transfers because of the issues that have been happening with our banks e-channels, where money sent is seen hours later.

“The only option is to buy the Naira at a premium, its the sad reality and the government really needs to come to our aid.

“The Naira scarcity has really affected the quantity of food items I buy in the market.

“The sale of the Naira is detrimental to citizens, any bank caught directly selling should be sanctioned.

“The PoS operators are reselling, they sell because they were sold to.

“The old naira notes should still be in circulation for at least extra one month whilst the new one is being regulated to prepare people,” Edet said.

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In the same vein, Mrs Linda Imediegwu, said the dependence on mobile transfer was the only option to buy food items due to the current Naira scarcity issues.

“Before the Naira scarcity, I had a lot of cash but I had to pay them into the bank following the deadline of the use of the old notes.

“Currently, it is hard to find cash to buy food items and now I have to resort to doing transfers to those that accept it.

“However, the traders insist we pay extra charges for every item paid for via mobile transfers. It has not been easy these past few days,” Imediegwu added.