-No going back on deadline, CBN reiterates
Market women in Osun State have pleaded with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the January 31st deadline for the return of old N200, N500 and N1000.
The market women in Osun State equally lamented the scarcity of the new naira notes.
Speaking during the sensitisation of stakeholders on the central bank's Naira Redesign project held at Atakumosa market in Ilesa, some market men and women lamented the scarcity of the new naira notes with a plea that the apex bank should extend the date for the deadline.
They said non-availability of new notes might make it practically impossible to meet up with the deadline set by the CBN.
The market women led by Osun Iyaloja General, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade and her counterpart from Atakunmosa West local Government, Mrs. Annah Awe, explained that the commercial banks in the state have not made the new notes available to customers in the state.
Speaking, a trader at Atakumosa market, Mr. Isiah Ojo said he has only come in contact with one piece of the new N1,000 note, adding that most banks and galleries with Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in his area do not issue the new notes to customers.
Also speaking, Mrs. Awe Christiana lamented that banks were not paying customers with the new note as they were complaining not having the new naira note which according to her was contrary to the message the CBN was preaching to Nigerians.
She appealed to the CBN to extend the deadline in the interest of the market women, especially those in rural communities.
In his response, the CBN Director of Research, Dr. Adebiyi Micheal Adebayo, urged Nigerians not to wait till January 31, to retire their old banknotes for newly redesigned currencies.
He insisted that the January 31, deadline for old notes to cease being legal tender was sacrosanct.
He urged market traders, business operators and Nigerians to embrace various cashless channel outlets to return old currencies in their possession, and make use of the same cashless transaction channels as preference for cash transactions.
"You all observed this sensitisation exercise by the CBN has been ongoing. It's a two leg exercise.
"One of them is to tell you to return your old notes in your custody for new re-designed currency between now and January 31. At the expiration of the deadline, your old notes are useless."