Naira scarcity: FCTA orders hospitals to explore POS payment options

THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has directed hospitals under its control to deploy the Point of Sale (POS) payment option in order to avoid denying residents healthcare services.

The directive was issued by the Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA Abubakar Tafida during a press briefing on Wednesday, February 22.

He noted that patients were confronted with difficulties in making payments for medical services as a result of the scarcity of the naira.

“Worried by the challenges faced by patients in making payment in the hospital to receive medical attention, the Secretary has mandated all the medical directors to engage the service of Multiple Point of Sale operators in their various facilities as an alternative to pay the medical bills,” Tafida said.

He also said the naira scarcity was not an excuse to deprive patients of medical services, adding that officials who refuse to attend to patients for lack of cash would be sanctioned.

Nigerians in the FCT and across the country are faced with difficulty in conducting day-to-day activities following the scarcity of banknotes. The naira became scarce after the redesign of the N200, N500 and N1000 denominations.

This has led to protests in various parts of the country, attacks on bank facilities and staff, among others.

Some state governors, mostly members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have challenged the Federal Government in court over the scarcity of the banknotes.



    Pending the determination of the suit, the Supreme Court gave an interim order that the old and new notes should co-circulate and remain legal tender.

    However, despite the ruling by the Supreme Court, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that only the N200 notes be recirculated.

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    He promised to end the scarcity, urging citizens to exercise patience.

    But so far, the President is yet to resolve the crisis.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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