Nigerians groan as traders, POS operators, others reject old Naira notes
Residents of Okitipupa, in Okitipupa Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State, have expressed worry as traders, Point of Sales (POS) operators, commercial motorists and motorcyclists reject old naira notes, four days to its expiration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stipulated Jan. 31 as deadline to face out the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN on Saturday in Okitipupa, said that they were in a state of worry for the rejection of the old naira notes before its expiration.
They also said that families were on hunger strike as the new notes were still scarce and out of reach of the masses.
They also urged the CBN to as a matter of urgency, resolve the bottleneck being experienced in the distribution of the new notes across banks Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s).
Mr Adekunle Adewole, a civil servant, told NAN that he was unable to board a commercial motorcycle to an important place because of the rejection of the old naira notes.
“I have an important place to go this morning but I can not go because the okada riders I approached bluntly told me they are not collecting the old notes,” Adewole said.
Mrs Regina Akinnagbe, a housewife, said she tried to get some foodstuffs but she was surprised that all the traders rejected her old Naira notes.
“Imagine, few days to the expiration of the naira notes, people have started rejecting it, now we can not even get foodstuffs again and the family is on hunger strike,” she said.
Another resident, Mr Olumide Faluyi, also said he was surprised that a POS operator rejected his old notes meant for deposit.
“There are long queues in banks, the ATMs still do not have the new notes, yet POS operators are still rejecting the old notes before it’s expiration.
Mrs Ayomade Ikuesan, a trader, said she wanted to go to the market in Ore for trading but commercial motorists insisted on the new notes and she was unable to go because she was unable to get the new notes.
A POS operator, Mr Matthew Aworinde, told NAN that he was out of business as he was yet to get the new Naira notes for transaction.
“The CBN has to act fast on this issue because we do not understand what is happening, I have stoped business now because I can not get the new notes from the banks,” he said.
Mrs Morenike Ojo, a pepper seller, said she refused collecting the old naira notes for fear of not being able to get it deposited at the banks before it’s expiration.
“I have stopped collecting the old notes, I sell for customers who buy in round figure because we still have challenges with smaller denomination, especially N200 for change,” she said.
A teacher, Mr Tayo Akinrinwa who said the situation was worrisome and could degenerate to serious issues economic sabotage, urged Federal Government and the CBN to wield sanctions on all saboteurs of the process.
Meanwhile, a check by NAN to some banks in Okitipupa metropolis revealed long queues in the banking halls and on the ATM’s for deposits of old notes and withdrawals of new notes respectively.
It was also revealed that few new notes were installed in the ATM’s as customers still lamented the unavailability of the new Naira notes.
Bank officials approached by NAN Correspondent for comments refused to speak with the press as at the time of filling this report
NAN also reports that the CBN had earlier directed all banks to open for business at weekends to dispense the new notes and collect the old naira notes before its expiration on Jan. 31.