Traders and commercial motorcylists are rejecting the outgoing Naira notes, which will cease to be lenger tender in seven days.
Last 26 October, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that the redesigning of the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, which would run side-by-side with the old versions until 31 January.
President Muhammadu Buhari then launched the new notes on 23 November, which the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said would be available from 15 December. But paucity of the new notes have been of concern across the country with Automated Teller Machine (ATM) machines dispensing the old notes.
While many users reject the few new notes, traders and customers in Katsina State prefer them for purchases following the prolonged delay at the banking halls for the change from the old to the new notes.
On Monday, the upsurge of customers made some of the banks to shut their halls, while some of them sought the assistance of law enforcement operatives to restore sanity.
A bank customer, Hadiza Hamza told The PUNCH that she was in one of the banks at Kofar Kaoran Road to obtain new ATM card, adding that the unruly attitude of some of the customers prevented her from being attended to till later in the afternoon despite being in the bank since 8.30 am.
She said “I arrived here at 8.30 in the morning but the inability of the bank officials to control the customers prevented the officials from attending to me until 1.30p.m. Those who came to swap their old naira notes for the new ones caused the problem”.
Another customer, Hassan Hamisu said that he was not attended to by his bank in Fadama area, also in the state capital, until about 3 pm due to the large number of customers.
Hamisu said: “I was not supposed to stay in the bank for more than 30 minutes for the transaction I went there for. Initially, we were not allowed into the premises of the bank because of the unruly behaviour of some of the customers.
“Later, the police and members of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps were called to regulate the number of customers allowed inside. That was when I was able to enter the banking hall and carried out my transaction. But what I observed was that the problem was caused by some of the bank’s customers who were there to change their old notes for new ones”.
Traders, food vendors and commercial cyclists hinged their rejection of the old notes on the problems they encountered in banks while trying to get the new naira notes.