Traders reject new naira notes in Niger

With few weeks to the final withdrawal of the old Naira notes from circulation, most traders especially in the rural areas are rejecting the new notes for business transactions.

For those who are aware of the new notes in circulation, see the January 31st deadline for the withdrawal of the old notes as not realisable and have therefore demanded an extension.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria,(CBN) has made it clear to them that the January 31st remains unchanged and therefore urged them to beat the deadline.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, Minna branch led by the Niger Branch Controller, Ademola Mohammed Saheed had gone on a sensitization drive on the new naira notes to the traders at the Ultra Modern Kure Market in Minna yesterday.

The traders said transactions with many traders especially in the rural areas had been very difficult because they are refusing the new notes from them.

They also said Banks and ATMs across the state are still dispensing the old banknotes thereby forcing them to be transacting their businesses with the old notes.

One of the traders, Yusuf Mohammed said, “those in the rural communities are not aware of the new banknotes and the deadline and they are not even collecting the new notes from those of us who are privileged to have them. I think there is a need for increased sensitization of the new notes to convince them that they are legal.

Speaking in the same vein, the Market Woman Leader, Rebecca James also lamented that the traders have refused to collect the new banknotes when it is being given to them for goods brought thereby making business transactions very difficult.

“Some of us are aware of the deadline but the banks and ATMs are still giving us the old banknotes. When we go to the bush markets, the villagers there are not collecting the new money. If you give them the new money alongside the old ones, they will pick the new ones out and tell you to change them.

”From all indications, traders in the villages and bush markets do not know about the new banknotes and they need to know. It would not be fair if they have money that they will not be able to spend or spend later for no reason of theirs but because of a lack of adequate sensitization. It is from these bush markets that we buy our goods and this is why we are asking that the withdrawal should be extended”, she suggested.

The Niger Branch Controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ademola Mohammed Saheed while responding assured that there are enough new banknotes in the CBN Treasury adding that banks and ATMs have started dispensing the new Naira notes.

“For six weeks now, we have not been giving the banks the old currency. The old currency still in circulation is there because of the quantum which is so much. We have been giving banks new currency to dispense and we have been calling them to come and collect the new banknotes as we have them in the treasury.

On the January 31st deadline, the Branch Controller said that it remains sacrosanct as there would be no extension unless the CBN Governor or the government decides otherwise.

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