Naira redesign: Traders explain why they’re rejecting new notes

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Six days after the new naira notes went into circulation, some traders are still finding hard to accept it as legal tender.

The newly-redesigned N1,000, N500 and N200 bills became legal tender on December 15, 2022.

The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on October 26 announced plans to redesign the denominated notes, saying the old notes would cease to be legal tender by Jan. 31, 2022.

He said the reason for the currency redesign was to stop counterfeiting and hoarding.

Alhaja Sofiat Balogun, a food vendor at Cele-Egbe bus stop, Egbe, said that she would not accept the new notes just yet.

“People say that the money is not fine and that it is not everywhere yet. I will not accept it until I see that it is fully in circulation.

“And secondly, I have seen on social media a video of a fake new note of N1000, this makes me even more afraid to accept it,” she said.

Mrs Eme Jackson, a fruit seller in Ili-ewe market, Egbe, said the reason she had refused the money is because the notes are too light.

“I prefer the old notes because it is very durable, no matter how you handle it, it will still remain strong unlike the new one.

“The moment I saw it, I told my children not to accept it, even in my absence,” she said.

Mr Ozuome Benedict, a phone technician, urged the apex bank to do a proper awareness on why they should accept the new notes.

“I do not have a problem accepting the new notes, the CBN should sensitise the people because so many are not aware that there’s a new note, that is why it is not accepted,” he said.

Meanwhile, NAN’s visit to some ATM machines around Ikotun, Ejigbo and Oshodi, showed that old notes were still being dispensed to customers.

A visit to one of the banks, a Teller told a customer who wanted to withdraw N100,000, that she could only be paid N20,000 in new notes and N80,000 in old notes.

But, when the customer asked why she wouldn’t completely pay her with the new notes, she (teller) told her that she was acting on instruction.

“I’m sorry to tell you that you can only have N20,000 of the new notes. This is an instruction given to us by the CBN,” the Teller said.

However, a visit to Zenith Bank ATM on Eric Moore, observed that the machine was dispensing the new notes of N500 and N200.

Some customers who saw the new notes for the first time, expressed mixed feelings as they passed the N500 bill from one hand to another in admiration.

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