Delta urges residents to accept old naira notes
Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive to commercial banks to accept and dispense old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes, as legal tenders till December 31, this year, in obedience to the judgment of the Supreme Court on March 3, Delta State Government, yesterday, urged residents of the state to accept the old notes.
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, in a statement in Asaba, charged all residents to continue to accept the notes as legal tender in view of the apex court’s ruling and CBN circular of yesterday, directing continued use of notes as legal tender.
He specifically called on government revenue collectors, fuel stations, traders, markets and other stakeholders to ensure compliance with CBN’s directive, saying the state government was not unaware of the hardship caused by the naira swap policy, even as he urged the people to use the window created by the court’s ruling to ease the tension and sufferings created by the policy.
Aniagwu charged all agencies of the state government and relevant stakeholders not to reject payments made with the old currency by the public.
MEANWHILE, tension created by cash crunch appears to be slowly easing, but the crowds at commercial banks remain. In some banks visited by The Guardian, though the customers appear to be less agitated and frustrated, they were worried by the tattered notes being dispensed by the banks.
At some of the banks along Nnebisi Road and Okpanam Road in the state capital, the possibility of accessing cash has calmed some nerves, with less of the usual shoving and pushing in queues. Many customers expressed hope that the situation would ease off or possibly return to normal after the March 18 elections.
A customer at one of the new generation banks, however, lamented: “The problem now is not just that I was paid in old N1,000 notes, but almost half of the notes are tattered. How can banks be dispensing such notes?”
At another bank, customers were more interested in being paid than speaking to the press, but Mrs. Ego Chukwuka hoped this would mark the end of their suffering in search of cash to survive, adding: “It has been a frustrating period. I still don’t know why they had to make us go through this. It is sheer wickedness to suffer us to get our money.”
At the popular Ogbe-Ogonogo Market, traders were as happy as customers, hoping that their businesses would pick again as the cash crunch eases.
She recalled: “Ah, it has been slow business all this time. Customers could not buy due to no cash and we could not sell. To worsen it, online and POS transfers were hanging in most cases.”
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during an interactive session with journalists in Asaba on Monday, in response to a question on what the state government was doing to ease the pain caused by the policy, said issues of fiscal and monetary policies were in the Exclusive List in the Constitution and only the Federal Government and its agencies could decide on such.