By: Gloria Ogine Following the ripple effect of the redesigned naira currency as part of the activities of the Nigerian federal government in the implementation of the Nigeria Cashless Policy, the country is now thrown into an unfortunate hardship, and students are not left out.  As obtainable in other places, the Northcentral University Students, are having more difficulties paddling the canoe through learning.  In addition to academic stress; flipping through pages of books, journals, research works, jostling through the internet for inspiration, and rushing to beat assignment deadlines, Benue varsity students are making harder decisions accommodating long queues at the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Services (POS)  terminals waiting forever for cash. Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its governor, Godwin Emefiele had on October 26, 2022, announced that it had redesigned  N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.  The Commission went further to give until the thirty-first of January 2023, after which the old notes would cease to be legal tender.  Although the January 31st, 2023 deadline didn’t go well with Nigerians, owing to the scarcity of the redesigned notes.  February 10th was later announced as the new deadline which was still not well with Nigerians Nevertheless, the policy has come to stay despite the cash scarcity.  Students Narrate ordeals.  At the Benue State University, Makurdi, The Middlebelt Reporter observes that students are having a hard time choosing between attending lectures or joining the long queue at the ATM terminals or POS stands.  Either of the decisions is detrimental to their academic performance or stomach performance.  Read Also: In Benue, farmers recount losses as Nigeria’s weak forest policy aids deforestation Most times, long queues don’t have pay-offs; as there isn’t sufficient cash to go around. To worsen the situation, some  POS agents around the university community have heightened their service charges despite stern warnings from the Students Union body.  Like Edwin Oruhu; a final-year student of the department of Zoology said it is frustrating to be cashless on campus, especially since the bandwidth is unfavorable for internet banking. “I could recall paying at a restaurant with my friends and days after, we got back to hear that the transfer wasn’t confirmed. We had to pay again.” Edwin and their friends have had times of being overcharged simply because they had no cash. And they had to pay with their card or mobile transfers.  “Today, a friend and I went to the park after she couldn’t access cash. They were accepting transfers at first but when a particular transaction could not be verified, they stopped and we had to locate another park. we were charged #2000 for a service of #1500 if we use cash.” Gideon Ocholi, a 300-level student of  Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) said,  “As a student, it has affected me in diverse ways including hunger strikes and being stranded” He continued, “I have been meaning to go to the market for the past two weeks but I have not been able to. Do you know why? I don’t have transportation fare. I don’t have #200 for okada.  That’s so sad.”, He lamented. Emmy Joe, a 300 Level Mass Communication student of Benue State University, pointed out that the new naira policy has posed a series of challenges for him but one of these challenges that stands out for him is the difficulty he encountered when paying his school fees. Read Also: Low Christmas as Fuel Price Cripples Travel Hopes in Benue “Ever since the old naira ban and new naira scarcity began, I have been having a series of challenges when it comes to transactions, as it is, payments of user charges can be daunting.  “The new currency saga is no longer something to bear.” He added.To cushion the strenuous difficulties, the Nigerian President, Mohammadu Buhari,  GCFR addressing the nation on February 15th, affirmed that the old N200 naira note alongside the new N200, N500, and N1000 naira notes would concurrently be legal tenders until April 10, 2023, when the old 200 nairas would cease to be a legal tender.

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Jairus Awo

Jairus Awo is a Nigeiran Muiltimedia public interest journalist. He believes in the power of the media as a catalyst to development and societal growth. You can tip him an idea on [email protected]

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