My attention has been drawn to the January 31, 2023, deadline set by the federal government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for N1000, N500 and N200 notes as store of value and legal tender in the country.
The CBN has given three consecutive months for Nigerians to deposit the old naira notes in their possession and it is now a few days to the deadline.
One of the mistakes that the apex bank made is the lack of the new naira notes of the naira denomination in commercial banks across the country. Commercial banks are issuing the old naira notes to customers instead of giving or paying. This situation has resulted to a lot of losses to the customers across the country.
There is, therefore, the urgent need for the apex bank to give standing order to commercial banks not to give out old naira notes to customers during the transaction period. The CBN should provide adequate naira notes in the the new denomination in circulation for effective implementation of the redesigning of the Nigeria’s currency and extend the transition period for another three months so as to enable Nigerians deposit their old naira notes in commercial banks.
I observe that people at grassroots across the country are in serious predicament on how to access to commercial banks for them to deposit their old naira notes. Some medium and large scale traders have started rejecting the old naira notes as medium of exchange, a situation which has put many vulnerable people into serious socio-economic quagmire.
Some of the traders in my community have even locked their shops and are rejecting the old notes for fear of how to access the banks and deposit the money in their possession during the period.
Government at all levels, traditional, religious leaders as well as civil society organisations should wade in as a matter of concern so as to salvage the nation’s economy from total collapse.
At this juncture, I commend the federal government particularly the CBN for their efforts in ensuring the stabilisation of the nation’s economy. This, indeed, will go a long way in assisting the government to curb corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources by some few unpatriotic people.
I appeal to the federal government to consider this clarion call and save Nigerians from the current socio-economic hardship.
Burdugau, Malumfashi local government area, Katsina state