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Confusion as Traders, Drivers Reject Old Naira Notes in Akure

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Several traders in Akure, the Ondo state capital, on Monday started rejecting the old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 despite the extension of their validity by the Supreme Court.

Many residents of the state with the old naira notes were stranded in several locations in the state capital since they could not spend it.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a thrift collector in Oba-Ile, Akure, who preferred anonymity, said that she was greatly distressed when she heard that many banks were no more collecting the old notes from customers.

She told NAN that she called some officials of Wema Bank who told her that the bank would no more take  old naira notes.

According to her, it was a POS attendant who later collected the old  notes from her.

The thrift collector pleaded to the Federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to allow the naira policy to give many Nigerians hypertension.

“Government should not give us hypertension. How will rural dwellers survive? The authorities should reconsider this policy.

“It is worrisome that the Supreme Court’s order could not be obeyed,” she said.

Also speaking, a taxi driver in Akure metropolis, who wanted to be called Mr Favour, said that he was surprised to have learnt about the refusal to collect the old naira notes.

Favour said that the refusal if not quickly checked would send many to untimely graves.

“But I know that they are not more powerful than God. I have stopped collecting it from passengers since I can’t spend it.

“These banks should be sanctioned by court of jurisdiction. And government should allow people to continue to spend it until the new ones are abundant in circulation,” he said.

According to him, filling stations have stopped collecting the old naira notes as well.

In her words, Mrs Oluwafunke Ademola, a POS attendant in Oba-Ile, Akure, said that Zenith Bank in Akure was initially collecting the old naira notes before it stopped collecting it from customers.

Ademola explained that a First Bank POS Agents instructed other POS attendants to deposit all their old naira notes between Monday and Tuesday unfailingly, saying she had stopped collecting the old notes from customers because of the risk involved.

She said that it was worrisome that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other authorities were not talking to Nigerians.

“Though the court is supreme but there is no statement from the CBN leadership,” she said.

According to her, the effects of disobeying the court order would be felt mainly by poor Nigerians.

In his words, Mr Taiwo Fakorede, an engineer, said that it was sudden to many residents of Akure since no commercial banks worked throughout last week.

Fakorede, who said that the pain inflicted on the masses would be too much, requested an extension for the collection of the old naira notes. (NAN)


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