In spite of the Supreme Court’s ruling, traders, transporters, and fuel stations in Kwara State are still refusing to accept the old N500 and N1000 notes as legal tender. Daily Post reports that some fuel stations are accepting bank transfers, but others are insisting on direct cash payments. The fuel stations cite poor network service and delays in confirming payments as reasons for their reluctance to accept bank transfers.
Interestingly, findings by Daily Post revealed that only a few commercial banks in Ilorin, the state capital, are dispensing either the new naira or old N200 notes to the public. Sources at First Bank informed the Daily Post correspondent that the bank has shut down temporarily due to an alleged hacking of its website, hence the inability to attend to customers. Customers at UBA in Ilorin, however, were still able to withdraw N3,000 cash across the counter.
While the adoption of the federal government’s cashless policy appears to be taking hold among petty traders, they still face the challenge of accessing cash to purchase more products. The cashless policy encourages the use of electronic payment systems, such as bank transfers, but some traders still prefer cash transactions.
For example, a meat vendor who spoke to the Daily Post correspondent expressed concern that she has no choice but to accept cash payments because Fulani cattle dealers only deal in cash. This highlights the cultural and practical barriers that still exist when it comes to transitioning to a cashless economy in Nigeria.
Overall, the situation in Kwara State underscores the challenges of transitioning to a cashless economy. While electronic payment systems offer many benefits, such as increased transparency and security, they are not without their challenges, particularly in areas where network connectivity is poor or where there is resistance to change.