Commercial Sex Workers Decry Low Patronage Amid Naira Scarcity

Commercial sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried low patronage in their business due to the scarcity of new naira notes.

Some of them who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, February 19, 2023, said the scarcity of the notes is a threat and has crippled their businesses.

They said that although the currency swap policy is commendable, the current mode of implementation is a challenge to their business.

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Miss Alexandra Tricia (pseudonym), a commercial sex worker, said her customers have reduced drastically due to the current ‘no cash syndrome’.

She described the development as both frustrating and slow for the business.

“The business is no longer booming like before because there is no cash anywhere. Some of my customers will come and after negotiations, they will ask if I have an account so they can transfer the money to me,” she said.

“When I give them the account number, they will press their phones and tell me that they have transferred some money. The worst part of it is that you will see their own alert in their phones but most times you will not get your own alert.

“They will want you to start the service immediately without you getting an alert and when you refuse, some of them will start making trouble.

“In fact, there is one of my colleagues that a customer sent a transfer alert to but up till now, the money is still pending but she has serviced the man,” she said.

Another sex worker, Miss Ifedi Ote (pseudonym), a university dropout, said many of her colleagues in the business had left temporarily due to the current cash crunch.

She said the development had caused customers who had little cash at hand to pay ‘next to nothing’ for their services.

“Clients who have cash will price you as low as N1,500 to N3,000. When you refuse, they will tell you that the amount is the only cash they have on them and because I need cash, I will be forced to accept the price,” she said.

“Even the Point of Sale agent where we usually direct our customers to for money has suddenly run out of cash for the past two weeks.

“I think this policy is a good one because it is meant to curb crime but the banks are not implementing it well,” she said.

Another commercial sex worker, Tracy Ehigbere, appealed to the authorities concerned to urgently address issues around the currency swap policy.

NAN reports that some of the mammy markets and brothels visited along FCT satellite towns which usually witnessed beehives of activities were deserted.