CBN on old naira notes and Nigerian Traders.
Many traders, business owners, and service providers in Ekiti state have continued to reject the old N500 and N1,000 notes despite the supreme court’s decision.
The Ejes Gist News has learned that many residents of the state are dissatisfied with the rejection of the old naira notes and the growing scarcity of the new notes in the state’s major banks.
According to our correspondent’s investigations, the old N500 and N1,000 notes were prohibited for use in markets, petrol stations, supermarkets, and other commercial centres.
In addition, transporters, including motorcyclists, taxi drivers, and interstate drivers, were observed throughout the state rejecting old currency from their passengers.
According to information gathered, the decision of traders and business owners in Ekiti state to reject the old notes may not be unrelated to the policy of banks in the state to not accept the old notes as customer deposits.
Some traders and business owners who spoke with the Ejes Gist News stated that they would not collect the old notes from residents until they received clear instructions from President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of the Central Bank, Godefiele.
According to Mrs. Joke Ajakaye at the popular Oja’ba market in Ado-Ekiti, the N500 and N1000 notes have not been returned to circulation, unlike the N200 notes, which the president ordered back into circulation via a nationwide broadcast.
Ajakaye remarked, “If you see the situation in the banks, you will realise that it is risky to collect the old notes from the people, as the banks will not accept them as deposits. Therefore, what do you suggest we do?
“Only people who don’t have the new N500 and N1,000 notes are transferring funds to me, and everyone else on the market is in the same situation,” she said.
When reminded of the current verdict of the Supreme Court, the trader responded, “that is only the court’s judgement because the President told us last time to accept old N200 notes, which we are doing, and we are awaiting word from him or the CBN before we begin collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes.”
Uche Chukwu, who sells spare parts in the state capital, told the Ejes Gist News that commercial banks are making it difficult for them to accept the old currency notes from the general public.
Chukwu explained that banks are sending customers to the CBN to deposit their old currency, even after collecting the currency over the counter and at ATMs.
“Because they are not collecting it as a deposit, you know the problem lies with the bank,” Before we can begin collecting from residents, we are awaiting possible instructions from the president or CBN.
“Let me tell you that people have collected these notes from banks, and when they are rejected and returned as a deposit, they will not be accepted again within one hour.”
Muyiwa Oladele, a commercial driver, stated that he will not collect old N500 and N1000 notes from passengers until he hears in the news that the president or CBN governor has instructed him to do so.
“My brother and I share this nation, and you are familiar with our people. It is dangerous to expect us to collect money that we cannot spend from petrol stations that do not collect it.
“I will only advise the banks to give us sufficient new notes and accept the old ones so that we can survive this hardship,” he said.
Abimbola Kolade, a local resident, recounted the difficulties she encountered when attempting to spend old currency in a local shop.
She stated, “I used an old N1,000 to purchase a N200 coke bottle, and I was surprised when the cashier refused to give me change from the old notes I gave her. So, I can either purchase the coke for N200 with an old N1,000 bill, or I can return home without the coke.
“Although it hurt, I paid for the coke in old N1,000 bills without receiving any change. This problem is within our control.”
An employee of one of the banks along the popular bank road in Ado-Ekiti, who spoke with Ejes Gist News on the condition of anonymity, stated, “Remember, we are directly under the CBN, not the supreme court, and it will be difficult to do what the CBN has not ordered us to do.”
It is not our fault, but the public should be aware that we are accountable to the CBN.
Biodun Oyebanji, the governor of the state, has pleaded with business owners and residents to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes, as the supreme court has ordered.
The governor, in a statement released over the weekend by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, in response to residents’ complaints that many businesses in the state refused to accept the old naira notes as a form of payment, stated that “it becomes illegal for any business owner or service provider to refuse to accept the old notes.”
He urged the people of Ekiti to accept the old naira notes until the deadline in December and to refrain from actions that could cause each other hardship.
CBN on old naira notes
The governor urged market women, artisans, transporters, petrol stations, supermarket owners, school owners, and service providers to remain law-abiding and accept the old naira notes.
According to him, “This is an appeal to all residents of Ekiti State to adhere to the Supreme Court’s ruling, which provides a reprieve for the people by extending the validity date of the old naira notes until December 31.
“The State Government had joined with other states to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention in reversing the new naira policy, which, according to the states, had inflicted excruciating pain and hardship on the people in addition to crippling economic activities.
“As honourable people, it is expected of us to abide by the apex court’s ruling and continue to accept the old naira notes as a means of exchange, and not to impose additional hardship on one another by rejecting it.
The CBN on old naira notes
This is a special appeal to all the banks to make the naira notes available at all their branches and pay points, and to all traders, business owners, service providers, okada riders, drivers, filling stations, petrol plants, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, and POS operators to immediately begin accepting the old notes. To do otherwise would be tantamount to defying the decision of the nation’s highest court and undermining the government’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people.
“As we continue to build a more prosperous state, our government will continue to investigate ways to enrich the lives of its citizens.
“In a similar vein, the government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners caught rejecting old naira bills.”
- CBN on old naira notes
He also urged the commercial banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the old and new currencies available in their branches and at their cash machine (ATM) locations in order to make it easier for residents to obtain cash for their daily and business needs.
CBN has remained silent on the old naira notes.