THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given February 10 2023 as the new deadline for members of the public to make either bank deposits or business transactions with old naira notes ranging from two hundred, five hundred to one thousand naira notes.
IN spite of the extension of the deadline from the initial January 31 to February 10, there is an outcry from the public who are facing challenges either trying to deposit old naira notes or withdrawing the newly redesigned ones which are in short supply
THE extension brought about a little sigh of relief as members of the public had more time to deposit the old notes in their possession in the various banks across the nation with the hope that the newly redesigned notes will be made available both through the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and across the counter.
UNFORTUNATELY, even with the directive by the Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele to Deposit Money Banks (DBMs) to commence payment of the newly redesigned naira notes over the counter subject to a maximum of twenty thousand naira, Nigerians, Benue people inclusive, have continued to undergo untold hardship as the various banks have retained adamant towards paying customers the newly redesigned naira notes across the counter while those who manage to get to the ATMs after being on long queues for several hours, end up withdrawing not more than twenty thousand naira, with others having their ATM cards rejected.
MOST Point Of Sales (POS) Centers have packed up due to the inability of the operators to get the newly redesigned naira notes.
POS operators who through whatever means have access to the newly redesigned naira notes, are seriously extorting money from members of the public, with some billing one thousand naira as against the usual one hundred naira for payment of ten thousand naira, that is, one hundred naira per thousand naira.
THOSE living in the rural areas are the worst hit.
THERE are also disheartening reports of persons, allegedly selling the newly redesigned naira notes.
THE prevailing situation has seriously affected the people in their day to day activities, most especially the business community.
WE therefore urge the apex bank to take steps towards addressing these issues by closely monitoring bank operations in order to ensure that the right thing is done.
THE issue of fuel scarcity coupled with inadequate power supply is already biting too hard. Having to contend with scarcity of the naira is one challenge too many.