Chronicles of undergraduates during Naira scarcity


Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the redesigning of the naira. The  Governor, however, gave an initial deadline of January 31st 2023 for the phase out of the  old note.

The deadline was, however, extended to February 10, 2023 due to the scarcity of the new notes and inability of Nigerians to deposit their old notes in banks before the expiration of the deadline.

When the government enforced the deadline, it became difficult to access the new notes because of the printing of lesser amount for Nigerians to use for their day to day business transaction.

Nigerians groans as they have to part with huge amount of commission before they could have access to their money and students were not left out of the horrible experience.

Fir instance,  students described the naira scarcity as an horrible experience expressing dissatisfaction, saying it leads to hunger, starvation.

A Microbiology Student, Barakat Azeez, described her woes as horrible as she lacks physical cash, poor network to perform online transactions among others

She said, “We are not allowed to spend the old currency anymore but most of us don’t have access to this new naira note and have to resort to doing transfer as if that help matters because it doesn’t at all the poor network everywhere wouldn’t allow anyone to make transfers .( I haven’t eaten for 2 days straight looking for where to borrow money that can last me for a little while but who would borrow at this time), This affects students not only physically but psychologically also.”

Islamiyat Busari, a 200L Mass Communication Student in kwara State University (kwasu) , said, “Even some of the traders (market sellers) refuse to collect transfer because of their fear for fake credit alert and my money was also rejected because it was the old currency, how can dis continue.”

Just as the scarcity of naira has created hardships for some students it has also given opportunities to many students also  due to the increase in charges for cash withdrawal by this point of sale machine (pos) agents.

For some months naw students have taken it upon themselves to make their own gain from all the crisis. Some in kwasu go as far as to Illorin with more than two debit cards to withdraw from different Banks to get up to 60,000 or more using different debit card then return back to school to sell the money for other students.

Students who are now desperate to get cash look for any means to get it and when they meet other students with cash who are willing to sell it to them even at a large amount of money as charges they wouldn’t think twice before buying the cash from them because of the shortage of funds everywhere, this is also without the use of the POS machine making it a new business.

Some of these student were interviewed as to why they involved themselves in this business one of which replied “everyone is looking for a means to make money and when such an opportunity presents itself people have to make use of it”.

Some even would go as far as reducing the charges to enable them to go back to Illorin to withdraw another set of cash from the ATM.

Other findings from students shows that even with how long the queue’s are at the bank and how many hours they would have to wait to get the cash, also missing out on most of their classes some students do not mind at all as far as they are able to make their gain from selling the money.

How long will this continue, would students adjust to the situation at hand well I guess only time would tell.


A 200Level Mass Communication Student Of Kwara State University (KWASU).