*By Ginika Okoye
Bank customers resident in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried the continuous fall of the naira to the dollar.
According to them, their purchasing power has reduced drastically.
One dollar to Naira exchange rate at the parallel market is between N1,440 and N1,500 while the official rate is N1,356.
Some of the customers appealed to the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently evolve measures to address the situation.
They also lamented that the situation had inflicted untold hardship and had reduced their standard of living, saying the development had also negatively affected all sectors of the economy.
Mrs Irene Igunmado, a bank customer with Access Bank, said the fall of the naira had reduced the purchasing power as the prices of goods and services had skyrocketed.
Igunmado also said that the increase in the prices of food items had made her family to reduce their standard of living.
”Nobody tells anyone in Nigeria about the situation now. Even my little children understand that times are hard.
”This naira fall is worsening the situation because when you go to the market and ask traders why the prices of everything have increased, they will tell you its because of the dollar.
”Companies are closing down, relocating to other places.
”This is not the ‘renewed hope’ that the present government promised us,” she said.
Mrs Victoria Emeka, a bank customer with Guaranty Trust Bank, said that although the food monthly allowances for her family had increased, it could not cater for their needs.
”Every month, my husband usually gives me N30,000 to buy food items that will last us for the month because I have a permanent list that I use.
”Now, although he has increased the amount to N60k but the money will still not buy half of the things in the list which was usually purchased entirely with N30k.
”The government needs to do something urgently,” she said.
Mr Franklin Ogunleye, a bank customer with First Bank Plc, said the naira fall was the reason for the relocation of many Nigerians to other countries.
Ogunleye said he was feeling the heat of the naira fall as he was sending money to his family abroad, who just relocated recently and were yet to fully stabilise and get a job.
”This Naira fall is biting me so hard because my business is about to collapse.
”I relocated my family to the United Kingdom (UK) in 2023 and every month, I change money and send to them.
”Sometimes, I change as much as two million naira but it will still not be enough for them because of the exchange rate.
”I am thinking seriously of leaving this country to join them so that I can reduce this untold hardship,” he said.
A banker said that banks would always strive to reduce the hardship faced by customers due to the scarcity and fall of the Naira.
The CBN on January 31, ordered Deposit Money Banks to sell their excess dollar stock latest February 1.
The CBN also warned lenders against hoarding excess foreign currencies for profit.
Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in Abuja had shut down operations due to scarcity of the dollar.