By OLUBUKOLA AIYEDOGBON
ILORIN- Some residents and traders in Kwara have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the
withdrawal of the old Naira notes in order to allow the new notes circulate effectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that under circulation of the redesigned Naira notes by commercial banks had slowed down the withdrawal processes of the old notes.
Some of the traders and residents told NAN in Ilorin on Monday that they were yet to see the new notes in circulation.
They said the old notes were more in circulation than the new notes, to which some of them blamed the commercial banks for hoarding and not loading Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the newly designed naira notes.
Madam Aisha Mohammed, a trader at the Oja Oba market in Ilorin, said that more customers bought goods with the old Naira notes than the new ones.
“The new Naira note has not circulated at all, in fact as
a trader, I have not seen much of it around.
“The deadline should be considered and extended for at least another three months to enable us change all we have,” she said.
Another trader who simply identified himself as Mallam Rabiu alleged that the new notes are being hoarded by the banks.
“If they had started pushing the new notes out earlier after it was launched, we would have been spending it by now.
“People are beginning to reject the old notes, whereas the new
notes are unavailable,” he said.
A resident, Mrs Bukola Adebiyi, said: “Yesterday I wanted
to buy banana, but you won’t believe two different traders rejected the old notes at separate places, I couldn’t believe it.
“I was thinking in my mind, so is this how we are beginning to starve because we cannot or do not have the expected new notes.
“We expect that by now there would have been more of the new notes around, than the old ones.
“Some of us have visited bank ATMs but it keeps dispensing old notes contrary to the directive of the CBN.
“When you deposit the old note at the counter in banks, they ask you to go and withdraw from the ATM, but the ATM keeps giving us back the old notes.
“I do not think the Jan. 31 deadline is feasible, the CBN should just announce an extension, because it is not our fault that we keep depositing and getting the old notes back,” she said.
Mr Shina Daramola, another resident, said that the duration for the withdrawal and circulation of the old and new notes was unrealistic at the start.
“It is funny how CBN insists on Jan. 31 deadline, when there is not enough of the new notes in circulation. It was an unrealistic time frame from the onset.
“A country as large in population and economic activity like Nigeria cannot be given a one-month duration to change currency.
“Have they gone around to do a survey to know how well the new notes have circulated; this I think they should do and extend the deadline, we should be given at least six months, this will ensure the total withdrawal of the old currency and proper circulation of the new.
“We urge them and are asking for the extension of the deadline and strict implementation of the directives given to the commercial banks to ensure they push out the new notes instead of the old ones,” he said. (NAN)