Benin residents have rejected the old N500 and N1,000 notes for business transactions despite Governor Godwin Obaseki’s appeal to accept them.
The governor in a statement signed by the Commissioner of Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare. and made available to newsmen on Thursday, urged residents of the state to accept the old Naira notes.
The statement reads:
“With the Supreme Court judgement, the controversy over the circulation of the notes have been put to rest and people are urged to accept and trade with the notes.’’ the governor said.
At various markets, commercial banks, bus parks and Point of Sales on Friday, the old N500 and N1000 notes were being rejected.
The residents said that they would only accept the old notes when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Government made an official statement to that effect.
They also said that the non acceptance of the old notes was fueled by the commercial banks demanding the generation of certain codes before the notes could be deposited at the banks.
According to Paul Emeka, a fashion designer, “I heard about Governor Obaseki urging people in the state to accept the old notes, but most people are refusing to accept them.
“I entered a commercial bus this morning, but the driver said he would not collect the old N1,000 that I wanted to use to pay him for transportation fare.
“I collected the old N1,000 from a commercial bank a day ago, and now, I can’t use it to pay for goods and services.
“I even told the bus driver that Governor Obaseki has asked people in the state to collect the money, but the driver refused.
“The driver said that he wanted to buy fuel with the old N500 notes he collected from passengers a day before, but the fuel attendant refused to accept”.
Another resident, Mrs Rosemary Osas, urged the state government to do more sensitisation about the acceptance of the old notes at the markets, and bus parks among others.
“I collected N5,000, I was given the old N1,000 notes two days ago at GTbank along Agbor Road in Benin, but the food stuff vendors in the market are not accepting the money.
“I had to come to Access Bank this morning about 5:30 a.m. because I learnt that they pay the new money, but it has not gotten to my turn.
“This is almost 1: 30 p.m., my number on the queue is 139 and they are still attending to number eighty something.
“The situation is terrible because as I am speaking now, I didn’t eat last night because of non acceptance of the old money.”
Some banks like First Bank, GTbank, were still giving out the old N500 and N1,000 notes to customers at the counter in spite the rejection by some customers.
Only a few bank customers were ready to collect the old notes, with the optimism that the notes would be accepted by members of the public anytime soon.