In Nigeria, people have started sleeping in front of banks. When the cash machine is loaded up in the morning, they want to be among the first in line to collect notes from it.
In a nation where 40% of the population lacks bank accounts, a scarcity of newly designed naira notes has caused a cash shortage and increased concern among individuals who are scrambling to get their hands on their money.
Even the Supreme Court got involved and issued an order extending the deadline for turning in old notes, but it didn’t really make a difference.
Long lineups of cars snaking out of the gas stations due to occasional gasoline shortages are nothing new to the locals. But as the nation prepares for a presidential election at the end of the month, huge lines of disgruntled, perplexed, and furious people have now become a frequent sight outside banks.
Abraham Osundiran, 36, who is in one of two lines at a bank in the neighborhood of Ikoyi in the capital city of Lagos, declares, “I haven’t eaten today.”
He has been forced to skip a second day of work at a construction company because he lacks the funds to cover the taxi ticket. Many Nigerians still heavily rely on cash, while some have adopted digital payments.
“I have no cash on hand. I had to forego breakfast in order to make it here, so I’m not sure what I’ll eat the rest of the day.
Many more people are in a predicament like this.