Despite the Supreme Court’s order extending the deadline until tomorrow, February 15, when action would most likely be taken, commercial banks across the country began rejecting old naira notes yesterday.
The Deposit Money Banks (DMB) were reportedly turning away consumers who had walked into their branches to deposit old notes gathered over the weekend, according to findings from Abuja and numerous states throughout the nation. Bank customers and point-of-service employees flocked to deposit their old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes, but the banks refused to take them.
“I was shocked that the old notes were rejected at the bank today. I took the money I had with me but the bank rejected the old N500 notes,” lamented Mrs Juliet Okoro, who visited one of the old-generation banks in Ikeja.
At a Zenith bank branch located in the Central Business District, customers who had the old notes could not deposit them as officials blatantly refused to accept them.
A bank official stated, “We are not collecting old notes again, the deadline was on Friday. The memo I saw yesterday (Sunday) directed that we should not collect N1,000 and N500 old notes anymore.
“We even had to dispatch all our old currency on Friday to the Central Bank. We obey our regulators, not the Supreme Court.”
Many business operators, especially filling stations and supermarkets across the country have started rejecting the old naira notes despite an order of the Supreme Court temporarily halting the ban on their use.
Mr Ndubuisi Ugwu, an FCT ommercial 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.”
Mrs 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.”
On a visit to the H-Medix Supermarket located on Ademola Adetokunbo in Wuse 2, Abuja on Sunday, a public notice at the entrance says that the establishment would not collect old notes starting from February 10.