By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Few days after Supreme Court had nullified the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and extended the validity of the old naira notes to 31 December, 2023, business owners, transport owners, landlords, artisans, betting shops and several others have refused to accept old Naira notes in Lagos State.
Investigation carried out by thegazellenews.com also revealed that various churches across state on Sunday, March 5, 2023 also joined the bandwagon of those refusing to accept old notes for offerings and tithes.
However, few residents thegazellenew.com spoke with expressed their disappointments as foodstuff sellers, artisans, market women, commercial bus drivers refused to accept the old notes.
A food vendor at Mosalasi in Iyana Ipaja area of the state, popularly called, Mama Ibeji said, “I went to market with old notes over the weekend to buy some foodstuffs to cook for my customers but sellers of the foodstuffs rejected them, saying ‘if I collect the old notes from you, banks would reject it.’
Mama ibeji is right, if the words of Okeckwu Eze, who sells foodstuff in wholesale at Iyana-Ipaja Market are anything to go by.
“I don’t accept old notes because they are no longer acceptable. I know that the Supreme Court ruled that old notes should be in circulation till end of this year. But the problem is that bank managers will not accept the old notes from us. The only thing that would make me accept the old notes is if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) comes out to say we should be accepting the old notes,” he said.
According to Alhaja Amina Adelabu, who sells baby food and other household items in Ikotun Market, she would not accept old notes because according to her they are no longer acceptable, adding that “if I collect the old notes, banks would reject them.
“Old notes are no longer acceptable. If there is a court judgment, let President Muhammodu Buhari address Nigerians on the issue though I am aware that Supreme Court judges ruled that the old notes should still be in circulation till December this year.
“What I know is that judges are not bank managers that will accept or reject the old notes from us. CBN should ratify the court verdict for us to start collecting the old notes. But they have not come out to say anything concerning the issue. No bank is accepting old notes any longer”.
A commercial bus driver plying Iyana- Ipaja to Iyana-Iba, who simply identified himself as Sunday Adedayo, also said that: “I have refused to collect old notes from passengers because other people are not collecting them also. I gave my wife some old notes to buy foodstuffs in the market but she came home saying market women rejected them. So, if market women are rejecting old notes, why should I collect the old notes from passengers?