..As traders, others lament, say policy not friendly
By Doosuur Iwambe
As the economic blow continues to weigh in on every sector in the country as a result of the newly redesigned naira notes by the Federal government, consumers who are in a state of despair and anguish all over the country have drastically reduced consumption due to dwindling purchasing power.
A survey carried out by the Daily Times revealed that most consumers have been unable to purchase even the basic commodities due to staggering low cash -flow.
A visit to some supermarkets in the Federal Capital Territory revealed low patronage even as most buyers struggle to make payments via their ATM cards.
Some of them who decried the harsh economic realities as a result of the latest Central Bank’s monetary policy on new naira re-design, complained that bank transfers have not been successful with many failed transactions.
These failed transactions led to bitter remarks from the buyers to service personnel who would often try to salvage the situation.
Some of the buyers in a popular supermarket in the capital recounted how difficult it has been to get cash to buy foodstuffs.
A consumer who simply identified himself as Deji said; “It is not easy at all. I am tired beyond words. Imagine I have been in every ATM machine on this road, no cash. I had to trek a long distance to get here because I didn’t have money to pay for transport. It is that bad. I just had to buy the little I can here. At least I can pay with my ATM card. The challenge often is that you could get debited and the transaction is not successful. Government needs to do something fast; it is not funny at all. We are suffering”.
A visit to other busy spots and major food markets which is usually swamped up with economic activities was like a ghost town with most sellers sitting alone with their wares. Only a handful of buyers, desperate looking, moved from shade to shade figuring out what the meagre cash in hand could buy.
While some muttered words of despair, others lament loudly for all to hear.
This is coming as the 2023 general elections are expected to be held later this month. While brands appear to be on the sidewalk waiting to see the outcome of the elections, the current challenge will further negatively impact on product purchase and brands bottom-lines.
In an interview, Osamede Uwubanmwen, President, the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN while affirming that the business environment is now very challenging for brands, advised brand managers to be more proactive and innovative to be able to navigate the gloomy economic season.
“For me, it is good policy but there would have been things that should be done first. It is a good plan that is now having a lot of backlash. It is affecting everybody. It is affecting brands. Brands should assess the impact on their businesses and find ways to mitigate it”.
According to him, understanding the customer and the route to market is critical for survival as the economic realities have now made it mandatory for consumers to embrace technology and other tech enabled solutions to facilitate transactions.
Also speaking, Promise Oduh, Associate Director at MediaReach, OMD Nigeria, stated that electronic transfers will continue to witness setbacks without the required infrastructures.
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“The broadband penetration in Nigeria is low and when it is low, it will slow down internet speed. Therefore, the level of transactions through digital technology will be very slow which will result in the kind of scrambling that is happening. The result of the complexities I am talking about, will result in failed electronic transactions.
“Another aspect is that the backbone that the banks have cannot also carry the level of customers that they have. Now, the banks seem to have more customers than their backbone is able to carry. It is just like you have an infrastructure that is meant for 50,000 people and that infrastructure is now carrying 200,000 people. Of course, there will be downtime as there will be so many transactions happening simultaneously” he said.
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