March 22, 2023
New, old Naira notes directive: Agencies, businessmen, others ignore order

New, old Naira notes directive: Agencies, businessmen, others ignore order

By Patrick O. Onu

Despite an order issued by Kano State Government, through the state Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, mandating all businesses and trades, to continue to collect and exchange new Naira notes with the old ones, traders, businesses and other essential service providers, continue to reject the old currency. They insist on the new ones.

The directive became imperative following the hardship visited on the public since its first week of implementation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which as earlier reported, was a welcome policy as acknowledged by the masses.

But however they described the timing as totally ill-timed. This unwholesome development is so worrisome with the fact that even agencies of government, supposedly enforcers of such directive, are deliberately the ones flouting the order.

Some of the agencies as captured by The Triumph were, courts, KEDCO, banks, individuals, police men, Immigration and Customs personnel, revenue and tax officers.

Others include commercial roads users, particularly, tricycle operators, eatery joints, essential commodity stores, hotels, fuel filling stations, schools and all other public and private establishments.

The effects of their actions have crippled the economy.

But in assuring the public of its seriousness, the government had for the meantime, sealed-off some businesses believed to have disobeyed the order, who in turn, have been appealing to the concerned agencies to temper justice with mercy.

The fake quagmire of this scarcity, running into weeks, continues to question the sincerity of the government whose actions were perceived by the masses as adding to their pains following the already hardship and suffering being experienced in the land.

According to the Federal Government, the redesigned currency policy became imperative at this period following the stash away and hoarding of the Naira by the big men in the society, whose untoward actions have resulted to the killings of the socio- economic life of the nation and visitation of untold hardship and suffering as presently being witnessed in the country.

Going round the Kano metropolis, as at Wednesday this week, many banks claimed that the apex bank did not make available the new Naira notes for them to give to the public.

While in other way, they refused the collections of the old notes from the teeming account holders of their respective banks in the state.

They also attributed their position as the ‘mandate’ emanating from the CBN.

This is with the exception of Tijan Trust Bank, located at Murtala Muhammad Way by Galadima Road, which was seen dispensing cash through the ATM, with a withdrawal cap limit of N5, 000 to N10, 000 only. Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Ekwem Innocent Chidi, a trader at the Malam Kato Square in the heart of Kano capital, he stated that: “Many people supported this policy, including me. But its timing is what I am against.”

“It is too immediate for business operators, because, for example, if you deposit, let’s say, N200, 000 and you want to do a business of N70, 000, you can’t, because of the withdrawal limit,” he complained.

Mr. Chidi, who serves as the Assistant General-Secretary of Imo State Indigenes Association Kano chapter, appealed to the public to patiently and graciously embrace the new Naira policy as it was geared towards their betterment.

He advised the authorities concerned to do everything urgently in ameliorating the pains being experienced by the populace.

A visit to the apex bank by The Triumph to authenticate its position, did not yield the desired result, as it was informed that the state’s Controller, who was in position to speak on the issue, was said to be in a meeting session with the POS operators.

But our reporter stumbled on a poster pasted around the bank’s premises, that the Central Bank directed the agitating public to access its website addresses, given as: HTTRS: CRS.CBN.GOV.NG or https:, on how to navigate the hardship occasioned by the policy

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