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Lagos Residents Share Ordeal After Accepting Old Notes From Banks

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Some Lagos residents say they regret collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes from commercial banks after the Supreme Court judgment validated them as legal tender till Dec. 31.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that it had been challenging spending the old notes as Nigerians were not accepting the money.

They also said it was surprising that two days after the judgment, banks started paying between N5,000 and N10,000 per customer, compared with N3,000 and N5,000 that were dispensed from their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) since the cash swap started.

Mr Matthew Aburime, a student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, who expressed disappointment, said he had been unable to spend the money he collected from a bank.

“I came from Ikorodu to Ajao Estate to spend some time with my grandmother, unfortunately for me, when it was time for me to go back to my base, there was no liquid cash to be given to me.

“Someone, then, told me that a nearby bank was paying old notes. Since it was from a commercial bank, I felt they would pay based on the instruction of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Then, I went and queued, eventually, I was able to withdraw N10,000 from the bank.

“As we speak, the money is still with me, I’ve not been able to spend it; the first rejection was from a commercial bus driver.”

Aburime urged President Muhammadu Buhari or the Central Bank Governor to make a pronouncement on the matter.

“Their silence is making people lose more money,” he said.

Accoring to him, their silence has also encouraged some people to cheat and commit heinous act like the excess charges from the PoS agents.

Mr Daniel Okpulonu, a trader, also shared same regrets.

“When I realised that the old notes I was receiving from my bank were not legal tender was when a bank official announced that people who had received the old notes should not bother bringing it back to deposit, as it would not be accepted.

“As we speak, I am still going about with the money looking out for where I can spend it.

“This is not good enough; government should tell us what they want from us. Nigerians have suffered enough since the inception of this policy,” he said.

Mr Brian Achilefu, a Clergy, blamed the situation on the inability of many banks to dispense the old notes after the Supreme Court judgement.

According to him, it is not a good sign when institutions begin to disrespect the authority of the Supreme Court.

“The CBN should obey the court ruling and do as it ordered so that people and everything can go back to normal,” he said.

However, Mrs Abimbola Alli, a trader at Jakande Estate Market, Okeafa, told NAN she only accepts new notes.

According to her, she took the few old notes that she accepted from her customers to the bank but was turned back.

“Is that the situation that you want for me again? Never will I collect old notes again.

“Other traders are not collecting old notes in this market; I was the only one accepting it.

“When I could not deposit it in my bank and Okada riders also refused to accept it, I decided not to accept it anymore,” she said.

The Supreme Court on March 3 ordered that the old Naira notes should be legal tender along with the new notes until Dec. 31.

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