By: Ajadi Sodiq
According to a 2022 report, more than 80% of the 3.2 trillion nairas ($7.2 billion) in circulation in Nigeria are outside the vaults of commercial banks and in private hands. It will be recalled that the Supreme Court, in its new ruling, instructed that all old notes will remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
Over months, this cash policy has had its rippling effect on Nigerians, and Students at the University of Ibadan aren’t without exception, most especially with experiences getting cash and having to pay extra charges for every online banking transaction. This Correspondent went around the university community to sample experiences on this.
We Could not Live to our Satisfaction…
The time was around 1:45 pm, a 100-level student of Industrial Chemistry, Ifeoluwa, unlike other students just arrived on campus from Osun state, after the three weeks election holiday given. Ifeoluwa tried purchasing food at the cafeteria after she arrived from home, but seem have a different experience from the norm.
“Before I left for the holiday I had experienced this issue of charges on every transaction made but it wasn’t this much” Ifeoluwa admitted.
“I had to leave the place l usually buy things. Recently, I bought just 100 Naira Lacasera and I was told to add 20 naira charges on it, which wasn’t so previously. Also, the money in my account is in round figures; I had just received my allowance and I have budgeted it already. Sadly, I had to leave the place without buying anything to drink that very day” Ifeoluwa revealed.
Ifeoluwa, speaks from the perspective of how the charges on the transaction have affected her monthly savings and her allowance.
“Usually before these cash issues, I saved some of my allowances monthly to keep the next month good with me, but since there’s a hike in the charges I’ve not been able to save enough because I have to keep money separate for charges too” Ifeoluwa revealed.
Ifeoluwa recounted on how her parent’s monthly salaries haven’t increased for like 5 years now which otherwise has also affected her allowance too and also things she purchased some months back now.
Akinwale Emmanuel, a 100-level student of the department of Political science sees the charges as a means for extortion and exploitation of the recent cash policy. This has inadvertently had effects on his lifestyle on campus. Emmanuel believes that many students have budgeted specific amounts to spend in a day but sometimes these charges are not included and many times they spoil a round figure amount in one’s bank account.
Also, a student of the department of Veterinary Medicine, Olugbenro Teslim, complained to this correspondent about his challenges with traders on campus. Teslim had already budgeted the last cash in his account but due to the need to pay charges for a transaction, he had to forgo his want.
“There was a day I had wanted to get two loaves of 250 Naira bread. I had only 500 in my account but due to the charges on the transfer, I had to purchase one and leave the other”, He explained as he showed disappointment on his face. That day, I had already budgeted that I’ll eat one in the afternoon and the other at night, but because of these charges attached to transactions, I had to cut the bread into two and share between the time” He added.
The Sellers Side of the Story…
Ogundana Oluwaferanmi, one of the managers at the Klass cafeteria at Tedder hall, explained the reasons why they had to increase the amount of charges on every bank transaction made by students on food purchased. According to Oluwaferanmi, he claimed that the company since the advent of this policy has also had its fair share of experiences when they go to the market to purchase cooking items. He further explained that most of the time they also have to pay for charges in the market whenever they go shopping.
This was also the case with Soft Spice at Kuti Hall cafeteria. They complained about the hardship they also face outside the campus with getting to purchase ingredients used in preparing some of their delicacies. One of the attendants at the company further lamented the introduction of charges on every online banking transaction has also resulted in the low turnout of how students purchased food from them.