Extension: Enugu traders laud CBN, want circulation of N200, N500 notes


By Alex Enebeli

 Traders in Enugu have lauded Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for extending the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes by 10 days.

They said the decision had brought back life to their business activities which had been stagnated few days ago dues to Jan. 31 deadline.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN had on Jan. 29 announced the extension of the deadline for the deposit of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in banks from Jan. 31 to Feb 10 in a statement signed by its governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

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Some of the traders who spoke to NAN on Monday said with the extension they can now accept old naira notes for transaction.

While commending CBN governor, a trader, Mrs Vivian Dele urged him to used the 10 days extension to print more of the new naira notes to make available for Nigerians.

Dele said the scarcity of the new naira notes in bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Enugu had stagnated businesses.

“I sell food stuff at Ogbete Market and I stopped collecting old money since Jan. 28 which has affected my business as i accept only new money and transfers.

“Many of my customers complained of the queues at the bank’s ATMs and at times, the transfer will not even go,” she lamented.

This, she said, had affected the level of patronage to businesses in the market.

A pure water seller, Mrs Ukamaka Blessing, noted that in spite of the extension, N500 and N200 notes were still scarce in many ATMs in the state.

“I sincerely thank Mr Godwin Emefiele for the 10 days extension but he should make the new naira notes available to Nigerians.

“He should print more of N200 and N500 notes to make transactions easier,” she appealed.

Another trader, Emeka Ezenwa, regretted that many ATMs he visited on Jan. 29 being Sunday around Agbani Road and Zik Avenue were without money in them.

“I have gone to Keystone bank and Access bank ATM this morning but there is no cash and the one in First bank have stopped paying.

“Some of us waited for hours yet they did not put money in the machine and the situation here is terrible.

“I hope with this extension, things will change,” he said.

Mr Elijah Igwe asked, “How can a woman who go to his farmer to pluck vegetables and bring it to the market for sale or a woman that sell salt exchange their goods with the scarcity of new naira notes”.

Commending CBN governor for the extension, Igwe said the policy should consider other citizens in the rural areas rather than torturing and stressing them or making them lose their old money.

Also speaking, a Bank Manager, who pleaded anonymity, said the rush at the banks and its ATM was what he described as Nigeria factor.

He said, “Our challenge now is Nigerians who love last minute rush,”.

The manager said the policy was best for the country, adding that many countries even in Africa had implemented it many years ago.

The source explained that as at last two weeks, only few customers deposited their old currency, adding that they worked on Saturdays and Sundays to enable customers submit their old currencies. (NAN)

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