Old Naira notes that Nigerians collected from commercial banks are becoming difficult to spend because so many people still refuse to use them in transactions.
Others are worried about the security hazards of utilizing real cash, such as theft and forgery, while some people are dubious about the legal standing of the old notes.
Some people are stranded and unable to spend the money as a result of the refusal. Nigerians have expressed their dissatisfaction and uncertainty over the issue by calling on the administration to clarify it.
The controversy culminated in a Supreme Court ruling on March 3, 2023, which validated the use of old Naira notes till December 31, 2023.
However, the Supreme Court ruling has not resolved the issue, as many Nigerians are still unwilling to accept the old notes.
Some state governments have even threatened to sanction anyone who rejects the old notes for business transactions, while others are urging the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN) and the Federal Government to make an official statement on the matter.
What Nigerian are saying
In Lagos State, Mr Matthew Aburime, a student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, expressed disappointment, saying he had been unable to spend the money he collected from a bank. He narrated how a commercial bus driver rejected the old notes when he tried to pay for his fare.
Speaking to reporters of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) he said
* “| came from Ikorodu to Ajao Estate to spend some time with my grandmother, unfortunately for me, when it was time for me to go back to my base, there was no liquid cash to be given to me.
* “Someone, then, told me that a nearby bank was paying old notes. Since it was from a commercial bank, I felt they would pay based on the instruction of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
* “Then, I went and queued, eventually, I was able to withdraw N10,000 from the bank.
* “As we speak, the money is still with me, I’ve not been able to spend it; the first rejection was from a commercial bus driver.”
Mr Daniel Okpulonu, a trader, also shared the same regrets.
* “When I realised that the old notes I was receiving from my bank were not legal tender was when a bank official announced that people who had received the old notes should not bother bringing it back to deposit, as it would not be accepted.”
* “As we speak, I am still going about with the money looking out for where I can spend it.
* “This is not good enough; government should tell us what they want from Us. Nigerians have suffered enough since the inception of this policy,” he said.
Mr Brian Achilefu, a Clergy, blamed the situation on the inability of many banks to dispense the old notes after the Supreme Court judgement. According to him, it is not a good sign when institutions begin to disrespect the authority of the Supreme Court.
* “The CBN should obey the court ruling and do as it ordered so that people and everything can go back to normal,” he said. Mrs Abimbola All, a trader at Jakande Estate Market, Okeafa, told NAN she only accepts new notes.
* According to her, she took the few old notes that she accepted from her customers to the bank but was turned back.
* “Is that the situation that you want for me again? Never will I collect old notes again. ”Other traders are not collecting old notes in this market; I was the only one accepting it. ”When I could not deposit it in my bank and Okada riders also refused to accept it, I decided not to accept it anymore,” she said.
A NAN correspondent who monitored various markets, commercial banks, bus parks and Points of Sale on Friday in Benin City, reports that the old N500 and N1000 notes are being rejected.
The residents told NAN that they would only accept the old notes when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Government make an official statement to that effect.
They also said that the non-acceptance of the old notes was fueled by the commercial banks demanding the generation of certain codes before the notes could be deposited at the banks.
According to Mr Paul Emeka, a fashion designer, who spoke with NAN, I heard about Gov. Obaseki urging people in the state to accept the old notes, but most people are refusing to accept them.
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