By Cecilia Ijuo
Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release more banknotes to money deposit banks to ease hardship.
The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that improvement had not been seen in terms of availability of old N500 and N1,000 notes.
They said it was worrisome that three days after the directive for their use till Dec. 31, cash queues still persisted.
According to them, some banks are not dispensing cash while some are dispensing between N2,000 and N5,000 with only few dispensing between N10,000 and N20,000 per withdrawal.
The residents also said it was important for the CBN to embark on intensive sensitisation as mixed reactions continued to trail validity of the old notes.
Mr Anthony Akpan, an entrepreneur, said it was of no effect announcing validity of the old Naira notes when they are not in circulation as expected.
According to him, mere pronouncement on validity of the old notes will neither end queues in banking halls
nor alleviate people’s suffering.
On acceptability of the currency, Apkan said while he had not experienced rejection of the old notes, people had attested to the fact that some business operators are still rejecting them.
“The distrust and controversy surrounding the redesigning of the old currency from the beginning contributed largely to the mixed feelings from people.
“There is a need for the CBN to create awareness about the validity of the notes, particularly in markets and rural areas,” he said.
A food vendor, popularly called Madam Christy, said she heard banks had started dispensing but not accepting old notes.
She said until she is sure of spending the notes without hitch, she would not accept them.
The vendor said she would continue to accept mobile transfers in spite of its hitches than accept old notes that she could ascertain their validity.
The NAN Correspondent, who monitored availability and acceptance level of the old notes at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), markets and motor parks, reports that people are transacting business with them.
NAN reports that at Aviation Garden close to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, people were seen transacting business with the old notes.
Also, at Utako market in the FCT, business operators were seen using the old notes.
They, however, said more notes should be released by the CBN, adding that most of their transactions are still online.
NAN further reports that at Karu Market, however, some business operators were rejecting the old notes.
Mariam, a tomatoes seller, said she is unaware that CBN had given directive for acceptance of the old notes.
She said she only saw people accepting the notes in the market.