Irrespective of the Supreme’s Court order that the old naira notes should be allowed in circulation along with the new notes until December 31, 2023, motorists, fuel stations, retailers, traders, and other categories of bank customers have rejected the old currencies in Ogun state.
Findings by OgunWatch on Wednesday revealed that most of them hinged their arguments on the fact the CBN, the banking sector regulator, is yet to approve the use of the old note.
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that it did not issue any fresh directive to commercial banks on last Friday’s judgement of the Supreme Court ordering the circulation of the old naira notes alongside the new ones until December 31.
The CBN spokesman, Isa Abdulmumin, explained that” the CBN had not issued an official statement. Both the old and new notes are legal tender, and banks are currently issuing them to customers. Nigerians should not reject any note, whether old or new.” Still Nigerians remain scared of the unknown.
Speaking to a trader at Omida market who identified himself as Blessed Ayeni, he said that the reason behind the rejection of the old naira notes is that Nigerians are more inclined to listening to the directives of the CBN, rather than court rulings.
He said, “ If you observe since this naira thing started, it is what CBN says that is finally, that is what people listen to, and now the CBN has not said the old notes should be accepted. If I collect old notes now, I can’t give it as change because other people will reject it.”
A resident named Eniola Ruth complained bitterly on the rejection of the old note stressing that she had withdrawn thousands of naira few days back and was paid in old notes.
“Few days ago i want to withdraw from Fidelity bank and i was paid in old notes, only for me to go to panseke market today to get food items and all the market women i went to rejected the money.
“ This is painful and embarrassing, how will I spend it, i had to go back home empty handed because there was nothing I could do” she lamented.
It was observed that even JustRite Superstores, was also not accepting the old notes, as a source said “Many of the customers here are paying with their cards. We don’t know the status of the old notes for now, so it wouldn’t be wise to start accepting them from customers.”
However, OgunWatch gathered that the management of Divine Park Gas and Oil Petrol station, located in Idi-Aba area of Abeokuta, the State Capital has began exploiting customers with old note on the condition that it will be accepted only if they pay extra charge to buy the products
On investigation, it was discovered that the said fuel station known to have been selling a litre of fuel at N250 on offer of new notes by customers, has however, introduced a new ploy to exploit customers and now sell the products at N300 per litre.
Customers with the old notes were asked to buy a litre of fuel at N300 per litre, while those with new notes has to pay N250 per litre, a difference of additional N50 , an extra cost to get the products.