The Functions Carried Out by Pos Retailers on Easy Access of Cash During Endsars Protest in Nigeria



1.1 Background of the Study

Financial institutions and telecommunications companies throughout the globe are confronting a new loop on the Information and Communication Technology convergence curve. The point of sale [POS] terminal of the future generation e-payment system has emerged as a promising new technology, according to Ugwuede (2020). According to CBN regulation on cash deposit and withdrawals, all companies that take cash for daily business transactions up to N0.5 million for individuals and up to N3 million for corporate clients must use a PoS terminal to avoid being charged 2% above the allowed free deposit limit. Supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, electronic stores, pharmacies, boutiques, hospitals, distributorships, airlines, and other enterprises fall into this category.

To execute retail transactions, a point of sale service [POS] terminal is utilized. Depending on the model, it may do a variety of tasks such as credit card processing, DSTV and decoder refilling, reading, and transactions. These devices may be found at a variety of locations, including grocery shops, supermarkets, and petrol stations. The POS machine’s technology allows for a quick and safe transaction. A point-of-sale (POS) system is a device that makes it easy for shops and restaurant owners to receive payments from consumers, among other things. It is the software and hardware that a retail firm need to execute their operations. The point of sale is the a machine that helps business owners run a cashless business operation, from buying and selling goods to processing transactions . POS systems have made it possible for entrepreneurs who wish to turn their passion into a career, to create and run a retail shop. Point of Sale Retailers, according to Ugwuede (2020), were an obvious target for demonstrators during the EndSARs campaign.

Large youth-led demonstrations against police rattled towns throughout Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, in October 2020. The protests erupted following a video on social media purportedly showing an extrajudicial death by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a section of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) charged with investigating violent crimes. SARS employees have already been accused in widespread human rights violations by “credible international groups,” according to the US State Department. D. Okon (2020). Protests against police brutality have already erupted in Nigeria, where campaigners and scholars have recorded considerable evidence of human rights violations by SARS officers and other NPF personnel (2020). Amnesty International said in a 2016 study that SARS personnel systematically tortured and abused prisoners, many of whom were unlawfully imprisoned, held incommunicado, and compelled to “confess” or pay bribes to be released. In Lagos and Edo State, the most tense area, reports arose of violence and theft by certain mobs, including assaults on police stations, jails, banks, and large commercial outlets, as well as ethnically-targeted violence. In reaction to the assaults, army and police allegedly used live fire to disperse demonstrations in the Lekki and Alausa neighbourhoods of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, killing several people and wounding hundreds more on October 20. Despite international condemnation, the state government continued to put in place measures to reduce the effort of these movements by tracking platforms (Flutterwave and Feminist Coalition, a social advocacy platform) that fund the EndSars movement, leaving them with no choice but to conduct their financial transactions at a point of sale.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Fintech companies played a critical role in fundraising for the #EndSARS Nigeria campaign. When the radical protests began on Wednesday, October 7 2020, two payment links, one set up by Flutterwave and the other by a social advocacy platform called Feminist Coalition, were the two most prominent crowdfunding links. During the zenith of the EndSARs protest, enraged protestors set fire to banks, particularly in Lagos and Aba. Thus it was vital for government to enforce curfew and financial institutions were temporarily shut down to allow deliberate on how to endure the losses of burning down branches BusinessDay, (2020). (2020). The impact of the banking institution’s temporary closure on people may be described as problems in getting money for everyday costs. They did, however, have to rely on the services of Pointy Of Sale machine operators and shopkeepers. Due to the strong demand for their service, they levied exorbitant fees for each POS transaction, which were far more than bank USSD fees. As a result, the purpose of this research is to look at the role of POS Retailers in facilitating easy access to financing during the Nigerian EndSARs protest.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the functions carried out by POS retailers on easy access of cash during Endsars protest in Nigeria. Specifically it was geared:

1)        To examine the extent POS Retailers made financial service easy to the public during EndSARs protest.

2)        To evaluate the functions carried out by the POS retailers.

3)        To investigate the implications of EndSARs movement on banks.

4)        To investigate if POS retailers were able to meet the cash demands of customers during the Endsars protest.

1.4       Research Question

1.        To what extent did POS Retailers made financial service easy to the public during EndSARs protest?

2.        What are the functions carried out by the POS retailers during the Endsars protest?

3.        What are the implications of EndSARs protest on banks?

4.        Do you think POS retailers were able to meet the cash demands of customers during the Endsars protest?

1.5 Significance of Study

This study would be relevant to the general public and to the body of knowledge. It will enable policy makers to review charges attached to e-payment platform as POS will expose to government on the menace and effect elicited by the EndSARs protest.It will enhance and heighten the need for financial institutions to encourage interested entrepreneurs to set up POS hubs in local area where they are needed. It would also be significant for academic works and give room for further studies.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will examine the extent POS Retailers made financial service easy to the public during EndSARs protest. The study will also evaluate the functions carried out by the POS retailers. The study will further investigate the implications of EndSARs movement on banks. Lastly, the study will investigate if POS retailers were able to meet the cash demands of customers during the Endsars protest.  However this study is delimited to Ikeja local government area, Lagos State.

1.7 Limitation Of Study
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8.Operational Definition

Role: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation

POS: The full meaning of POS is “point of sale,” or, in other words, it’s where your transaction is finalized.The point of sale or point of purchase is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed.

POS businessPOS business is a legitimate way to make money in Nigeria. It is also called agent banking business, and it’s an extension of the services offered by financial institutions to enable easy service offering to a wide range of customers

POS Agents/Retailers: This any individual that has a POS business. They are agents who carry out financial and banking services on behalf of the bank while earning their own commission.

ENDSARS: End SARS is a decentralised social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses.