Unrest looms as banks, PoS operators, traders reject old naira notes

Shock and anger took over Ondo State on Monday as banks across the State refused to accept the old Naira notes from residents.

The residents, most of whom are traders, had neatly arranged the money they made all through the weekend in anticipation of depositing it in banks, but they met a brick wall.

With the information filtering gaining ground across the State, operators of Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals and business owners began to reject the old naira notes.

The situation became tense, particularly within Akure metropolis, the State capital, when taxi drivers and commercial motorcyclists started rejecting the old naira notes.

The rejection came amid the interim order of the Supreme Court against the Central Bank of Nigeria, which banned it from going ahead with its deadline for the end of use of the old naira note until February 15.

According to a PoS operator, Nike Olatunji, at the Arakale axis of the State capital, he was yet to get himself after one of the new generation banks in Alagbaka refused to accept old notes of almost N200,000 that he made over the weekend.

Olatunji narrated, “When the Supreme Court gave an order as per the deadline given by CBN, I had believed that CBN would adhere to the court’s order, but it was surprising that my bank did not accept the old notes from me.

“After sorting out the new notes, the cashier returned the old notes to me without any cogent reasons. All he told me was that they wouldn’t be accepting them.

“Now I don’t know what to do with all the old notes. I have about N200,000 of the notes with me. It was part of the transactions I did between Friday evening and Sunday.

“Honestly, Nigeria is becoming something else. How will the Supreme Court give an order and banks will turn a blind eye?”

While decrying the development as pathetic, a civil servant in the State, Opeyemi Omoniyi said it was a tug of war between her and a cab driver when the taxi driver rejected the old N500 note she gave him.

She said, “At first, I thought the cab driver was joking after he refused to collect the money from me. When I got to my destination, I gave him the money, but he outrightly rejected it, insisting on the new note.

“I was forced to transfer N200 to him, the cost of the trip. With this crisis, Nigeria is becoming something else.”

Meanwhile, findings revealed that if something urgent is not done to douse the tension, the situation might lead to unrest, particularly as youths had been the most affected by the actions of the banks.


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