THE Mobile Money business popularly known as Point of Sales (POS) is crumpling in the State of Osun, investigations have revealed.
Majority of the people in the business have abandoned it following their inability to access cash, owing to the lingering cash crunch induced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
OSUN DEFENDER observed that many kiosks and containers being used by the mobile money operators have been shut in Osogbo, Ikirun, Iree, Ilesa, Ife, Ede and Iwo.
This is just as few of the POS operators have been placing high charges on their transactions, ranging between 10 and 25 percent on the amount being given out.
Besides, investigations have revealed that some traders, supermarkets, wholesale business owners and others who are being paid in cash by their customers are selling the money to needing individuals.
According to reports, some Hausas in Osogbo were sending their cash as goods to their relatives and other persons in the northern part of the country.
Before the practice, OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the Hausas were collecting N5,000 on N100,000 cash being given to POS operators.
Findings by this medium also revealed that some filling stations attendants and managers were collecting ‘charges’ on the cash being given out to the mobile money operators.
However, the unavailability of cash and the stress associated with getting from the few in circulation have forced majority of the POS operators to shut down.
A POS operator in Ede, Mrs. Dorcas Agboola, claimed that she has suspended her business because of the cash cruch.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, Agboola, said, “We don’t have access to money again. Unlike before that we can get cash at banks, filling stations and traders, there is no money anywhere to run the business again. We spend hours at bank just to get N10,000 which is not even enough to buy things for myself.
“Ever since the scarcity of naira begun, I have not for once operate my terminal. I have suspended the business for now. Withdrawal transaction is the heartbeat of POS business and when you don’t have money to pay people, it is better you close your shop.”
Speaking with the medium, another POS operator in Ila, Mr. Segun Akintayo, said he goes to Osogbo everyday to get cash from his friends and relatives who are traders.
He said: “There is no gain in the POS business again. This cashless policy is killing the business. We have no cash again to give to the people. I go to Osogbo everyday to get cash from my people there, at the end of the day, I will be returning with N60,000 or N70,000. It has never exceeded that. Now tell me, how do you want to survive such situation?
“People should just stop blaming POS operators for their current charges on transaction. In my own case, how do I get my transport fare and make profit if I do not increase the charges? Some people are even selling money to us. It is that bad. “Our own case is even worse; we don’t have banks at all here. The few filling stations in the town are not making sales. We don’t have anywhere to get cash.
“Go round Ila, you will see that almost all the POS kiosks and containers are closed. The operators have shut down. Few of us that are operating are just roughing it, hoping that things will change. POS business is now in a mess.
95 Percent Of Mobile Money Agents Not Working
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, the Chairman, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, State of Osun chapter, Comrade Alli Akeem, lamented that the POS business was on the verge of total collapse.
Akeem said: “The cash crunch has badly hit our business. The Central Bank of Nigeria does not get this policy right because it does not carry necessary segment of the financial society along. Most of our agents are not operating now because they have no access to cash.
“The CBN needs to come up with plan on how to be providing the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents with cash for transaction, because these agents are the one supplying cash to the hinterlands.
“As am I talking to you, 95 per cents of agents in Osun are not operating due to the cash crunch. We don’t have access to cash and that has crippled our business. The people are lamenting too.
“However, we are holding meetings with CBN and we hope that our deliberations will be positive at the end of the day.”
Speaking on the high charges on transactions by few POS operators, Akeem said: “Our agents are not the one over-charging the people. Those over charging people are money merchants. We have condemned that practice.
“Some people have access to cash and they sell it to those you called POS operators. Those are the persons making it difficult for their fellow men and women. The solution is that CBN should allow us to have access to cash and normalcy will return to the society.”
Petty Traders Lament Low Patronage
The scarcity of cash has taken away smiles from the face of petty traders whose daily activities revolved around exchange of money.
Foodstuffs sellers, hawkers and other traders whose capitals are bellow N50,000 have lamented that the cashless policy has reduced their sale as their customers no longer have cash to patronize them again.
Some of the petty traders at Oluode, Igbonna, Oja-Oba, Sasa, Akindeko and Otaefun markets in Osogbo, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to release enough money to the circulation, saying that their trades and livelihood are being threatened.
A tomato seller at Otaefun, Mrs Bamiwo Akinrinade, said her daily sales of between N8,000 and N11,000 have reduced to less than N5,000.
According to her, some of her customers wanted to pay through transfer which she refused because she did not have a bank account.
She said: “This policy is affecting us; we don’t make sales again. The unavailability of cash is crippling our trade; people don’t have money to buy things again. Majority of our customers and other people will want to pay you through transfer, even when they buy less than N1000 goods.
“Unfortunately, some of us don’t have banks or POS machines. Some that received transfers from their customers are complaining that it did not drop. It is difficult for us to account for our money at the end of the day, and we don’t have cash to go and buy goods as we used to do.”
Mrs. Folashae Bello, a provision seller at Oja-Oba, Osogbo, lamented that the cash crunch has reduced her sales.
She said: “Initially, I was receiving transfer from people but it got to a point that I did not have cash to go to market again. So, I decided not to be accepting transfer as method of payment again, and that has made me to lose some customers, but what can I do.
“Transfer payment is stressful because the internet and individual’s banks services are also frustrating. My account may not be credited for almost a day after transfer was made. I have lost about N15,000 to dispute on transfer transaction and I cannot continue in that way. The bank charges are also killing.
“The government should please release enough money to the circulation. People are hungry; we are not making sales again because there is no cash.”
Lamenting what she describe as ‘temporary joblessness’ , a food vendor, Mrs. Kafayat Ilori, said her business has folded up because of the unavailability of cash.
She said: “I hawk food around the neighbourhood in the afternoon and I have been doing that for the past five years. But it is unfortunate that this scarcity of cash has forced me to discontinue the business. Majority of my customer ate food and said they would pay me when they have cash. This is the second week and some of them are yet to pay. The money I collected from others have been spent on another thing.
“I cannot be accepting transfer; how do you collect transfer from a person that ate N300 food? I don’t even have a bank or POS. so, for the past one week, I have been sitting at home; there is no money to buy foodstuffs to cook.