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Traders adamant on old Naira notes

By Adekola Afolabi,
Sade Adewale,
Jimoh Ahmed &
Kayode Afolabi

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Despite the appeals made by the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to traders in the state to accept the old Naira notes, many of them have not shifted ground.

Akeredolu had in a state wide broadcast flayed the rejection of the old Naira notes because it had brought hardship to the common man.

Apart from being a flagrant disobedience to the law, he explained that it would stifle local trade and weaken the economy of the state.

Akeredolu said the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes remain legal tender and appealed to the people to continue to accept them with the new notes.

He enjoined the commercial banks in the state to increase the circulation of the old notes and devise more strategic means to decongest the banks especially at the ATM cash points.

The Hope correspondents who monitored the banks yesterday observed that they have started complying with the Governor’s directives, but traders are still undermining the circulation of the old notes with their rejection.

Many of them were adamant that they would not accept the old notes until the CBN Governor, Emefiele or President Mohammadu Buhari have spoken out on the matter. 

The traders including, petrol station operators in Akure said they won’t collect it until they receive a directive from the Central Bank Governor on the declaration of the Supreme Court.

However, few petrol stations and supermarkets were said to be collecting the old N500 and N1000 notes in Ore, headquarters of Odigbo Local Government while residents of Ondo North Senatorial District commended the governor for identifying with the people at this trying period.

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According to the residents, Governor Akeredolu, through his address, has again showed that he is with the people of the state, especially the downtrodden, at all times.

Investigation by The Hope revealed that traders at major markets in Akure, the Ondo State capital including Shasha said they were awaiting the approval of the CBN before they could collect the old notes.

Traders in Moferere, Sabo and Odosida markets, all in Ondo City yesterday rejected the old N500 and N1000 notes, describing the situation as very confusing.

The leader of the Odosida market, Madam Ige Akinwumi said they were confused about the issue of old notes because commercial banks refused to accept them.

Akinwumi noted that they were afraid to collect old naira notes because the CBN Governor or Federal Government have not spoken about it and this has caused a setback in their businesses.

Alhaji Usman Mohammed said “we are not ready to collect it now until the commercial banks are ready to accept the old ones we have with us because some people have old notes that banks rejected and we cannot collect more when we have not spent the ones with us.

“The only money we collect now is the new notes and transfer of money. But if the spending and the collection of the old note have circulated enough, then we will join,” he explained.

Mohammed who also spoke the minds of other traders in Sabo called on the federal government to intervene by instructing Commercial Banks to collect the old notes to reduce the hardship on the people.

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Speaking earlier, the Iyalaje of Moferere market, Mrs Adunni Akinnagbe noted that the issue of collection of the old notes is confusing. The situation has crippled all businesses in the kingdom and they are afraid of collecting the old notes because people refuse to collect it from them.

Report from Ondo North District said residents commended the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for always staying with the masses during trying period most especially the cash scarcity brought about by the naira swap.

According to the people, Governor Akeredolu, by the address, has once again showed that he is with the people, especially the downtrodden, at all times.

While commending the governor on this, Captain Ade Oyepata, urged him to direct local councils to follow up the enforcement on market women, traders, petrol stations and other business houses to accept the old notes as legal tender in order to reduce the hardships being experienced by the citizenry.

Mrs. Hauwa Quadri, a trader who posited that the governor has by the address succour the people who have already been boxed to a corner, warned traders not to sabotage government efforts.

Meanwhile, in Owo, some traders have started accepting the old notes.

A trader at the Oja Oba market in Owo, Alhaja Faozeeyat Bello, who spoke with our reporter, disclosed that traders have started accepting the old notes as directed by the apex court.

Alhaja Faozeeyat said traders were further encouraged and assured that they will not lose their money by the address of Governor, Akeredolu who appealed to them yesterday.

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In a related development, banks across the Ondo North District have been issuing the old notes to their customers.

Also, report from Ore in Odigbo Local Government said traders have started collecting the old N500 and N1000 notes from customers.

It was also gathered that banks Automated Teller Machines (ATMS) dispensed the old notes to customers.

Some traders who spoke with our correspondent said they prefered bank transfer than collecting old Naira notes from customers.

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