The Special Monitoring Mission of the International Human Rights Commission (SMM IHRC) in Nigeria has expressed deep concern over the exorbitant charges levied by Point of Sale (PoS) operators and the distressing increase in house rents plaguing Delta Communities. These issues are believed to contribute significantly to social vices within the state.
The National Coordinator, Elijah Vitus Echendu, represented by the South-South Coordinator, Fidelis Onakpoma, made the call during the presentation of the National Consolidation Award to the Divisional Police Officers in charge of Agbarho, CSP Samuel Ugadu Ogwa, and Abraka, SP Ayameh Fabian Emehi, in Delta State.
Elijah, the National Coordinator, stated that PoS operators in Nigeria raised transaction charges due to the scarcity of new naira notes, as the demand for cash continued in banks across the country. However, the situation has relatively improved compared to before.
Regrettably, PoS operators in the University community of Abraka and its surrounding areas in Delta State charge their customers an average of N1,000 for every N10,000 withdrawal- a blatant exploitation occurring in broad daylight, despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive on cash dispensation by commercial banks, he pointed out.
He emphasized that Blaise Ijebor, the Director of the CBN Risk Management Department, had previously disclosed efforts made by the apex bank and the state government to ensure the availability of cash in circulation.
According to Elijah, the approved charge for every N5,000 withdrawal is N100, and any deviation from the approved charges by the agents due to the ongoing cash crisis amounts to punishing their fellow citizens.
He also lamented the distressing increase in house rents, noting that most tenants and those seeking new accommodations are struggling to cope as rental prices for residential apartments have skyrocketed in many developing Nigerian towns over the past year.
Acknowledging that the pressure to meet high rental costs could lead to involvement in illegal activities, thus exacerbating social vices, he advised the government to revitalize the economy and implement measures to facilitate its recovery. Elijah also urged landlords to exercise leniency when raising rents.
During the award presentation, Fidelis Onakpoma stated that they were assigned to honor the officers in recognition of their efforts in combating crime, promoting community cohesion, and raising civic awareness. He called upon the CBN Governor, the Inspector General of Police, the Delta State Government, and other stakeholders to take responsibility for addressing the concerns raised by the organization.
SMM IHRC RVC, South-South Nigeria