Yam dealers at Obollo-Afor in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State count their losses following the unabating scarcity of naira.
The traders, mainly from Gboko, Oshongo and Egede in Benue State, say they hardly make sales due to the naira crunch.
Our correspodent gathered that the seeming ‘collapse’ of yam sales in the market is stemmed from the sellers’ refusal to accept money transfers from buyers.
Nguembe, a dealer, said, “I don’t accept money transfer. We buy tubers of yam at Oshongo. We go to farms. Those farmers don’t know cash transfer. I have been here for three days. I have only sold one heap.”
Josephine, a yam dealers also, said, “This is not the right time for us. Buyers move away once we tell them that we don’t do cash transfer. My problem is that it is difficult to collect money from banks. They will say the highest they can give is N5, 000.
“POS operators worsen it. They charge us N3, 000 per N10, 000 withdrawn. The buyers won’t agree to pay the charges involved in withdrawing the money they transfer. We are really losing.”
A buyer, Emenike Eze, blamed the government for not protecting the consumers.
In his words, “The government should send security operatives to enforce the acceptance of cash transfer as means of transaction. I came here since 10am. But they refused to accept cash transfers. I don’t know what they expect from us.”
Moses Ozioko, a civil servant, recounted how delayed cash transfer stranded him for three hours.
He said, “I transfered money to the POS operator. He said he has not got the alert. We have been waiting for two hours now. Still the alert hasn’t reflected, and I have been debited. The dealers claim they don’t have individual bank accounts.”
Babangida, a POS operator at the market, said he had exhausted his cash.
According to him, “Buyers transfer money to our accounts. We then give cash to sellers, and they release the products to the buyers.
“But we have run out of cash. Nobody is bringing cash. They take from us, and then carry the cash to Benue where they use it to buy yams.”
Our correspodent reports that the scarcity of naira notes made business activities at the market dull. It was also observed that the commodity is cheaper when buyers present cash.