Business owners, traders and transporters in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are defying the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive on accepting old N500 and N1000 notes as legal tenders 17 hours after the bank’s announcement.
DAILY POST reported that the country’s apex bank on Monday bowed to the March 3 Supreme Court’s ruling and issued a statement that the old naira notes remain legal tender till December 31.
Investigations by DAILY POST, however, found that residents of Abuja still reject the old notes.
Salisu Mohammed, a trader in the UTC Area market, confirmed that he had rejected the old customer notes.
“No one is collecting the old N500 and N1000 notes as I speak to you. If other traders do not collect the money, do you expect me to do so? I have rejected some customers today who came buying with the old currencies,” he said.
Similarly, motorists and business owners are rejecting the old banknotes at the time of filing this report.
Okechukwu Okereke, a taxi driver, told DAILY POST he is yet to come to terms with CBN’s announcement on the acceptance of the old naira notes.
“As for me, I am not receiving the money. I heard depositing it at the bank is difficult, so what is the need? Only customers who have the new notes will board my vehicle. I no dey for banks’ wahala”, he disclosed.
Meanwhile, commercial banks in Utako, Jabi, Wuse and Abuja city centres are crowded with customers, as has been the case since the beginning of the naira crisis two months ago.
Benson Dogo said he came to the bank as early as 6:30 am but still could not get cash, old or new.
Narrating his ordeal, he said: “At a point, the bank asked everyone to leave its premises. Right now I don’t know how to return home.”
Another respondent, Okoro Ndubuisi, said he almost fought the driver who brought him to work in the morning over the old N500 note.
“I told him I had the old note, but he claimed he didn’t hear me say that and insisted I must pay him with the new note. Luckily, he agreed to receive payment by transfer, which was my saving grace,” he said.
Earlier, Prof Godwin Oyedokun, a lecturer of Accounting and Management at Leads University Ibadan, disclosed that Nigerians’ compliance with CBN’s decision might take some time while Dr Muda Yusuf, Director, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPC, urged the apex bank to embark on massive awareness campaign on its latest directive.