Grassroots farmers and petty traders in Nigeria have expressed frustration over the lingering cash crunch in the country. They said that the unfortunate incident has been taking a toll on their businesses.

The farmers said they have stopped keeping their cash in the banks to avoid the funds getting trapped. The small and medium-scale enterprise associations who spoke to our correspondent said the cash crunch would further weaken the government’s efforts to drive financial inclusion, especially at the grassroots.

Small and Medium Scale business owners, across country who noted that they could not get money from the bank, as their cash is trapped. Some have resolve to sell to only those who have cash.

For instance, a farmer in Igboho area of Oyo State, Mr. Dele Bamigboye, said, “Many of those who bought from my farm produce have not paid me. They said they could not get money from the banks. It is affecting my business. I sell my things in cash and I have someone who helps me to collect the monies and keep in her bank account when it is much. Now, I cannot get cash because my monies are trapped.”
Another trader in Ogidi area of Ilorin simply identified as Mama Kudi said, “I am selling to only those who have cash to pay. I maintain this position because if they send money to my account, I cannot access cash from the PoS, and banks are rationing their cash. I need cash to buy goods and do my transactions. I am not taking money to the bank.”

These situation is against the background of assurances from the Central Bank of Nigeria that there is enough cash in the economy. However, Nigerians have continued to decry the cash scarcity, as many Automated Teller Machines lack funds while banks are rationing cash over-the-counter.

Speaking on the impact of the cash crunch on financial inclusion drive, the President of the Association of Small Business Owners in Nigeria, Dr Femi Egbesola, said it would have a negative effect. He said, “People are trying to get their businesses structured and take their monies to the bank. With what is happening now, the confidence is eroded, especially at this festive period. People, mostly in the micro sectors, need cash for their daily transactions.”

The Vice President, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, South-West Region, Solomon Aderoju, said, the cash crunch would affect the confidence of those at the grassroots in the banking sector. He said, “Financial inclusion is to engender opening of accounts to ensure that you don’t keep your money under your pillow. It is also to help the SMEs to have a structured business, and also to control money in circulation. But with what is happening now, the confidence is lost. People will not have the confidence to keep their monies in the banks.”

Tobi Reuben Adetunji
Tobi Reuben Adetunji
Tobi Reuben Adetunji, holds a Degree and Master Degree in Political Science from the prestigious, Obafemi Awolowo University, ile-ife Osun and University of Lagos Akoka, Lagos State respectively. His research interests revolve around; African Politics and Economy, Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Renewable Energy and information Technology.

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