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POS Operators Ban From Operating On Residential Areas – FCT

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration yesterday, has banned Point of Sale (PoS) operators from operating in residential areas, a move which may go ahead to scuttle the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) plan to fasten its cash-swap programme. This was contained in a statement issued by the Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu who issued the directive on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

The co-ordinator of AMMC noted that the PoS business has become a security threat to the city thus the need to stop the operators from illegally taking over sensitive areas of the FCT. The council official hinged his reasons on the need to adhere to the Abuja Master Plan adding that the city was structured to depict a full-time residential neighbourhood concept devoid of any commercial activities. The plan to ban the PoS operators, however, contradicts the recent cash swap programme launched by the CBN. Recall the apex bank had set up the programme to help Nigerians without immediate access to financial institutions to swap their old notes for the newly redesigned notes. With the January 31 deadline still in view, the CBN had envisaged the commercial banks would not be able to attend to the huge crowd of customers thus the cash swap programme was set up to allow PoS operators to act as agents for the banks in the localized areas where they would have direct dealing with the customers.

Commercial banks have also reported heightened activities in their bank branches as most customers have reported spending hours just to change their old currencies to new ones. According to the cash swap project description, the deposit money banks (Five have been authorized) would act as operators who would then, train the agents. PoS operators and monitor the whole exercise. The FCT’s decision to ban these PoS agents would definitely do more harm than good as the residents would feel the worst impact of this decision at this moment. According to Shuaib, the PoS operators have been asked to ply their trade at commercial centres, plazas, markets, supermarkets and filling stations.

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