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Supermarkets, shops, merchants now refusing old naira notes ahead of deadline 

Ahead of the January 31st deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the cessation of the circulation of old naira notes, shops, supermarkets, small businesses, and merchants have started to reject the notes. 

According to Nairametrics findings, businesses have started sending out text messages, social media posts, and all forms of notifications to their customers of their intention to stop receiving old naira notes ahead of the deadline date.

For example, Cold stone creamy, a popular ice cream brand has informed its numerous customers via social media platform Twitter that they will stop accepting old naira notes from January 27, 2023. 

“Important notice‼‼. Following the Central Bank of Nigeria announcement on the redesigned Naira notes, Cold Stone Creamery NG will stop accepting the old naira notes (N200, N500, and N1000), effective from January 27th, 2023” 

Mega supermarket chain Spar also informed customers that starting from January 25, 2023, it will no longer receive old naira notes from customers.

A notice pasted at the entrance of the supermarket at its Opebi outlet states that customers who wish to pay using the old naira notes have until January 25 to do so, or they would have to use their debit cards or pay via QR codes.  

A field survey conducted by our research team suggests a growing number of small businesses have either started rejecting the old naira notes outrightly or have set date their own deadline dates.

Why the refusal?

Some of the businesses explain their reason for stopping the collection of old notes ahead of the deadline was to allow them time to deposit all their old notes before January 31st.

  • Failure to deposit the notes exposes them to possible losses as they will end up with counterfeit notes that are no longer legal tender.

Meanwhile, the central bank has continued to sensitize the public about the importance of returning their old naira notes to the banks before the deadline.

  • The bank stated that it is distributing the new naira notes through the banking sector and that despite their scarcity, the new notes are widely accessible via bank ATMs. 

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, also weighed in at the MPC meeting, stating that the 90-day window given by the CBN for Nigerians to deposit their old currencies was enough. 

  • “We called on the deposit money banks (DMBs) to extend their working hours, and to work on weekends,” he said. “There is no reason to talk about a shift. The new currencies are available.” 

Emefiele said the CBN had mandated commercial banks to feed the new notes into their automated teller machines (ATMs) for Nigerians to have equal access.  

  • “We have increased disbursement of the new notes to them. There is an adequate quantity of new notes available. Our mint is producing and we are supplying the banks,” the governor said. “We have super agents in underserved areas like riverine communities, and CBN staff members have been out on mobilisation. We believe that by January 31, the new naira notes would have permeated the nooks and crannies of the country.” 

Emefiele added that the CBN had so far received about N1.5 trillion of the old naira notes 

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