Commuters, Traders Lament as Naira Notes Rejection Continues

Commuters, Traders in Nigeria Lament as Naira Notes Rejection Continues (News Central TV)

During the weekend, a number of bank clients, employees, and commuters were left stranded in different regions of Nigeria due to the continuous rejection of old naira notes by transport companies, gas stations, traders, and other businesses.

Many people reported that it was extremely difficult for them to travel to their workplaces and places of business because of the new Naira notes’ increasing shortage and widespread rejection.

The old N1,000 and N500 notes were being used to pay customers by Banks as recently as last week, but due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s lack of official clearance, both businesses and citizens overwhelmingly rejected the old notes.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

Many commuters who spoke with reporters claimed the naira problem had gotten to the point where it was almost intolerable and that many people were already missing work because they didn’t have the money to get to their offices.

Enitan Ogunfuwa, a lawyer in Lagos, told newsmen that it has been more challenging to arrive early at her workplace in Ikeja, Lagos, since the naira notes shortage started.

Due to a lack of money, a well-dressed young woman who only gave her name as Sola explained to our reporter how she had been walking from Cele Express on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway to Jakande Gate in Oke-Afa, Ejigbo, Lagos. Many small-time business owners have likewise bemoaned significant losses caused by poor customer traffic.

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Days after the Supreme Court issued its decision in the naira redesign lawsuit and prolonged the expiration date of previous notes to December 31, 2023, the cash scarcity persisted.

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Central Bank of Nigeria had not, as of Sunday, issued a statement approving the use of the old notes as legal cash.

Even though the Attorney General of the Federation received notice of the Supreme Court decision on Friday, the Federal Government has yet to comment on it.

Consumers have continued to swarm banks every day in the hopes of receiving new notes. Also, more Nigerians have persisted in sharing their insights into the dearth of new Notes.

Theresa Amadih, a mother of two and employee at a restaurant in Lagos, bemoans the devaluation of the naira and how it has prevented her from paying for a ride to work.

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Isa Abdulkareem, a roadside vendor, claimed he had to resume riding his business motorcycle during the day in order to obtain cash because the majority of his clients were asking to pay for the meals he provided using online bank transfers.

Abiodun Balogun, a realtor, claims that it has been challenging to travel to his workplace for work.

“I was supposed to go to work on Saturday, but I and a number of colleagues could not go due to the cash scarcity. Some of our managers had to step in and send messages to our MD to get approval for us to stay back. Monday is almost here and I still do not have cash to get to work. This is really frustrating. It is telling on everyone”, he lamented.

Oluseye Orekoya, a manager at a payment platform, described the situation as dire and added that some of his coworkers had not been able to afford to travel to the workplace in the previous three days.

According to Bismarck Rewane, an economist, Nigeria lost nearly $18 billion in productivity in February as a result of the currency and fuel crisis.

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Rewane, the managing director of the Financial Derivatives Company, claimed that the time Nigerians wasted waiting in lines at fueling stations and automated teller machines cost the country money.

“In the last two weeks, about $18bn has been lost in productivity. That is the time lost in going to the ATM, rather than going to work, the time you spend in petrol stations, rather than going to work. That is just the opportunity cost”, he said.

Meanwhile, several motorists, fuel stations and traders continued on Sunday to reject the old notes.

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