Naira Notes Flip-Flop: How Will Nigerian Students Cope?
Just when you thought Nigerians have seen it all with the scarcity of new naira notes, the supreme court ordered the return of the old notes. While this flip-flop in the legal tender has caused confusion and concern across the country, Nigerian students are left wondering how they will cope with yet another change. In this article, we’ll delve into the impact of the return of
old naira notes on the lives of Nigerian students, how they coped with the scarcity, and how they can navigate this currency shift.
Since the tenth day of January, getting cash in Nigeria has been a problem. The recent change in Nigeria’s national currency, the naira, has had a significant impact on the daily lives of many Nigerians, especially students. With the introduction of new naira notes and the scarcity of cash, students have had to face numerous challenges, including long queues at banks, high transaction charges at POS machines, and increased use of mobile transfers when paying food or clothes vendors.
The crowd at the banks has been a major issue for students. Students have to join long queues
at the bank just to get access to their money. The bank environment is often filled with students,
causing a delay in their daily activities, and many have reported that they spend hours at the
bank, trying to withdraw money. And when they do, they’re only allowed to withdraw #5,000 or
#10,000, depending on the bank. This has resulted in a loss of time and productivity, affecting
their studies and academic performance, and life in general.
We interviewed several university students and these were what they had to say.
Faith (Uniben): This new design of naira notes isn’t helping at all. I’ve been at the bank since 5 am and I was lucky to withdraw only #5000. It’s been so frustrating being Nigerian, but this is the
worst I’ve seen so far. Aremu (University of Ibadan): I’ve been going to the bank since Monday but there is no cash.
Something should be done as soon as possible since the elections are over.
In addition to the long queues at the bank daily, students are also faced with high transaction charges when using POS machines. To get cash to go about their daily lives, students have no other choice than to pay huge charges just to get some naira notes. The high charges incurred when using these payment methods have further put a strain on students’ finances.
Chikaodili (Nnamdi Azikiwe University): I have never seen a country where people trade national currency with the same currency. I just withdrew #10,000 with a charge of #4,000. #4,000! Then again, Nigerians can perform transactions with their mobile phones as market vendors
now accept the use of mobile transfers through their Bank apps. However, this escape route seems very shaky as well. Network fluctuations and invalid transactions have been the order of the day at an alarming rate. And all these add to the frustrations of the good people of Nigeria, especially its great students.
Eseoghene (Delta state university): Before the cash scarcity, I had no problem using my bank app for transactions. But recently, due to the number of people using the app 24/7, the method is no longer reliable. The network is fluctuating, the bank app isn’t functioning. We’re all in God’s hands.
Furthermore, the introduction of the new naira notes has caused confusion and inconvenience for every Nigerian as some have reported that they have received counterfeit notes, adding to
the already existing financial burden. Some also complained about the quality of notes they received from the bank, stating that most of them were torn.
In a recent development, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ordered the federal government to continue the use of old naira notes. This decision was taken to alleviate the burden on Nigerians, including students who are already struggling with the new currency. This decision is a positive step towards ensuring that students can resume their daily activities with ease, without the added financial burden caused by the change in currency.
To sum up, the change in Nigeria’s currency has had a significant impact on students’ lives. The scarcity of new (and old) naira notes, the daily crowd at banks, high transaction charges at POS
machines, and mobile transaction instability have made it pretty hard for students to manage their finances. However, the recent decision by the Supreme Court to continue the use of old naira notes is a positive step towards alleviating the burden on students and other Nigerians. The government must take heed and provide necessary measures to ensure that students can resume their daily activities after the 2023 elections with ease, without the added financial
burden caused by the change in currency.
How has the cash scarcity affected you and your family? Let’s know in the comment section.