Thirteen days to the expiration of the old naira notes, and the new naira note is not fully in circulation.
On January 31, 2023, the old naira note will be outdated, despite the divergent views and thoughts that have been trailed recently on the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000, as well as the difficulties in acquiring the new naira notes. The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stressed that the deadline will not shift and the policy must take immediate effect.
RateCaptain analysts did a field survey to know how Nigerians are trying to meet the deadline for the old naira note.
Many points of sale operators told Ratecaptain that most ATMs and banks are still disbursing the old naira. A POS operator in Surulere, Lagos State named Nkiru Augustina said she still disburses the old naira to her customers because the new naira note has not been fully circulated to the ATMs and banks.
Ahmed Audu, a POS operator located in the Jankade area of Lagos, said that the old naira would not expire because the new naira is hard to come by. “I went to the bank to renew my notes and make other transactions, but I was still given the old naira note,” he said.
Mr. Jowel Ade, a bus conductor, told RateCaptain that he does not even have time to go and change his old naira, that the banks are very slow to attend to people, and that he cannot afford to waste his time.
Akpan Nteun, a commercial driver in Lagos, said that his passengers always give him old naira notes, and he has barely seen the new naira notes. “I am scared and I don’t know what to do because most of the passengers pay me with an old naira note and it’s close to the deadline.
Mohammed Lateef, a bus conductor in Lagos State, told RateCaptain that he doesn’t accept new naira notes from passengers because he is not sure if it is real or fake because ATMs still disburse old naira notes.
Ratecaptain also learned that some business owners in different regions of the nation were accepting mostly electronic payments since the old naira note had nearly reached its expiration date. “When customers come to my shop, I no longer accept cash payments; I prefer them making transfers to me,” an Apapa trader told Rate Captain. “I always make sure I get an alert before releasing my goods to them.”
Dele Akin, a commercial trader in Ajegunle, Lagos State, told RateCaptain: “I have not seen the new naira notes; even when I go to the ATM machine or use the point of sale machine, they still issue out old notes, but they are saying the deadline for the usage of the old notes is soon.
Most banks are working overtime to make sure that their customers have access to change their old notes to new ones before the deadline. Banks like Access Bank have provided alternative channels for cash deposits and prolonged their working days to Saturdays in order for their customers to meet the deadline.
Because of the scarcity of new naira notes across the federation, most people believe an extension is unavoidable.
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