SOME residents of Kwara on Wednesday expressed frustration over the non-availability of the new Naira notes, as the deadline for the legality of the old notes draws near.
Some of the residents in separate interviews told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that with six days to the withdrawal of the old naira notes as legal tender; only few new notes were in circulation.
Mr Olajide Israel, who was seen at an ATM point, said the machine was not dispensing cash, adding that it is frustrating that banks refused to load their ATMs.
He said the banks were afraid of sanction for loading with old notes, which means the new notes are not available for them to give.
“Since the ATMs are not dispensing cash, one will expect that once you enter the banking hall, you will get new notes, but it is not so.
“So, what are they disturbing us for? There shouldn’t be a deadline but a gradual withdrawal of the old notes, so that the new ones will circulate and citizens won’t suffer,” he said.
Another resident, Mr Bolarin Omolade, who runs a Point on Sales (POS) business at Post Office, said the policy has made him lost a lot of customers as some people were already rejecting the old notes.
Omolade said he couldn’t get new notes in the banking hall except at ATM points.
”I just withdrew N500,000 for my business this morning, but surprisingly I was given the old notes in the banking hall.
“I was told that I can only get new notes at the ATM, but I can’t withdraw there because there is a limit to what I can withdraw at the ATM.
“So, it will be better if the deadline can be reviewed because this will bring untold hardship on people,” Omolade said.
On her part, Mrs Elizabeth Israel, who sells curtains and beddings at Maraba, said she didn’t get new notes at the ATM after depositing the old notes in her possession.
Mrs Israel said she needed to have some cash with her because not all transactions could be done electronically as they involve small denominations.
”I would have loved to go cashless as we have been advised to, but it’s not everything we can make transfer for, like when we want to buy pepper, locust beans, vegetable and other edibles.
”So, I was forced to withdraw the old notes like that after the stress of depositing at first and going to like four ATMs before I can even get cash,” she said.
Another POS operator, Mr Taju Abdulganiy, said a lot of his colleagues would lose their means of survival with the new policy because of the scarcity of the new notes.
”Some of my customers that want to go and report at the NYSC camp could not patronise me because I don’t have new notes.
”And the deadline is drawing nearer by the day, so, we are at a crossroad.
”But the unfortunate thing is that, the scarcity will give room for the counterfeit to be produced and it will circulate more because people are eager to have the new notes.
”So, the government should check this either by extending the deadline or making the new notes available because even banks are complaining of not having enough,” Abdulganiy said. (NAN)