Many business operators in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have started rejecting the old naira notes in spite of Supreme Court order temporarily halting the ban on their use.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that following the redesigning of N200, N500 and N1000 notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, January 31 was announced as deadline for use of the old notes.
The January 31 deadline was, however, met with outrage from Nigerians, forcing the apex bank to extend the deadline to Feb. 10 after which the notes would seize to be legal tender.
Meanwhile, governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara approached the Supreme Court on February 3, requesting that the extension should be beyond Feb. 10 as announced by the CBN.
Following the suit, a seven-member panel of the apex court, led by John Okoro gave the order suspending the Feb. 10 deadline till Feb. 15, when the suit would be determined.
NAN correspondent who went round some parts of the FCT on Sunday to monitor use of the old notes, discovered they were being rejected in public places like fuelling stations, market places and parks.
Ndubuisi Ugwu, a commercial driver, seen announcing to passengers to board with new Naira notes, said he started rejecting the old notes because fuelling stations had began rejecting them.
He said, “I went to fuel my car at the station with the old notes and it was rejected.
“That is why I am insisting on passengers boarding with new notes.”
On the Supreme Court Order, Mr Ugwu said he was aware of it but insisted that since people had started rejecting the money he had no choice.
Amina Shuaibu, a tomatoes seller at Karu Market, said she stopped collecting old notes since Feb. 11, following the Feb. 10 deadline given by the CBN.
According to her, she heard that the old notes have seized to be legal tender.
“Although, I heard that the court gave order that we should continue using the old notes but people are rejecting it in the market, that is why I am also rejecting it.
“I also heard that banks have equally stopped accepting the old notes but I do not know how true that is.
“There is so much confusion about the whole thing, so the best thing to do is not to collect it at all.”
Philip Ogedengbe, a concerned Nigerian, who was seen educating traders in the market, said almost everybody in the market was rejecting the old notes.
He said he could not purchase any item on his list because he went to the market with old notes.
Mr Ogedengbe, who said he was frustrated, added that the new notes were not easy to come by.
He also said attempts to make transfer failed, adding that each attempt showed, “issuer inoperative”.
Vivian Anibe, a student, said she had used the last old N1,000 note on her to buy things she did not need.
Ms Anibe said she went to buy bread but could not because the bread seller was not collecting old notes.
“This whole situation is so worrisome. I came out to buy bread but could not because many people are no longer collecting the old notes.
“On my way home, I decided to try one more place and they were still collecting old notes unfortunately they did not have bread.
“I had to buy what I did not budget for but I am happy I have spent the money,” she said.