~As Ondo NUJ calls on CBN to open swap centres across the state

Traders in Akure, the Ondo state capital have refused to collect old naira notes from customers, leaving many residents stranded as they can neither access new notes nor spend the old ones in their custody.

The traders, who attributed their rejection of the old notes to the refusal of banks to collect them said they (the traders) already have enough in their possession, which they cannot deposit in banks.

The Reports gathered that so many commercial banks are rejecting the old notes of N200, N500 and N1000 denomination in violation of the Supreme Court’s order and that of the Council of State.

Many customers who went to the banks to deposit were disappointed when the banks officials refused to collect the old notes despite shutting operations for three days last week, from Wednesday 8th February to Friday 10th February.

At the Jaiz bank, an official advised customers to take the old notes to the Central Bank of Nigeria for swapping.

Other banks visited, including UBA, FCMB, First Bank and Zenith bank all rejected the old notes.

A resident of Upenmen, in Owo local government area of the state, Tolani Owamoyo who lamented the hardship he is facing said, “the remaining #1700 old notes with me was rejected. I trekked from Upenmen to Ikare junction and still trekking to Idasen-Owo”.

A youth activist in the state, Oluyemi Fasipe, who berated president Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele for their insensitivity to the suffering across the country said “the CBN deliberately went silent on the Supreme Court injunction, which is an indirect way of telling the banks to stick to the February 10th deadline”.

Meanwhile, the NUJ Chairman in Ondo state, Leke Adegbite, has called on the state government to take drastic measures against any bank in the state that rejects the old note.

Adegbite said “Ondo state governor should toll the path of some governors in the north who have instructed banks and traders in their states to continue trading in the old notes”.

“There is a need for the governor to act fast before things get out of hand. Banks and traders have no right to put people through unnecessary hardship.

“If banks didn’t open for 3 days out of the 5 working days of last week in Ondo state, on what ground are they rejecting the old notes now, not even after the Supreme Court injunction, which is an affront on the rule of law, violating an order of the highest court in the land.

“There is also an urgent need for the CBN to open centres across the state where people can swap their old notes for new ones, as earlier contained in the circular issued by the CBN” the NUJ chairman added.

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