The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration will set up a Special Task Force in the state to clamp down on the excesses of Point of Sale (POS) agents, who charge arbitrary fees in the wake of the cash crunch caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s currency swap policy.
Obaseki said this during an enlarged meeting with market women drawn from the State’s three Senatorial Districts, held at the Government House, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
In attendance at the meeting are the state Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha; Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Afishetu Braimoh; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials, Bank Managers in Edo State, among others.
The governor who assured market women that their money in the bank was intact, noted that they can transact with the money and pay for goods and services through electronic bank transfer.
“We are setting up a Special Taskforce that will include CBN, Department of State Services (DSS), other security agencies, government officials, members of Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and market women to clamp down on those selling money.
“We will cease the license of any POS operator found to have increased the rate of changing money. POS operators can do other activities not only giving out cash but also help to transfer money.
“CBN is bringing more money but it will be sent to rural areas. For urban areas, we urge you to try and use your phone for transactions. Your money is not lost but safe in various banks where you have them.”
The governor said the state identity card when fully implemented will be used for payment of school fees, hospital bills and other transactions.
Director, Risk Management, CBN, Abuja, Dr. Blaise Ijebor said CBN has made arrangements with banks to enable POS operators to exchange cash for customers.
He said: “Tomorrow, we will publish the list of all POS operators that are supposed to change money for you. If they charge you above the normal rate, please call the numbers we have provided for you.
“Our arrangement with POS operators is that we have made money available for them and we expect them to push out the money and make it available to you for a stipulated price, not higher than that.
President, Ovia South West Local Government Market Association, Mrs. Elizabeth Osabuohien, who thanked the governor for the meeting, urged the CBN and government to collaborate and ensure the people get money rather than buying it from the black market.