Traders in Nkwo Nnewi New Spare Parts Market in Nnewi, Anambra State have reacted angrily to the unavailability of the new naira notes in banks.
The traders protested to officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who were in the market to sensitize them on the need to ensure that they pay in all old notes to the banks on or before January 31.
Some of the traders told the visiting CBN officials that as at Friday, they have still not been able to access the new naira notes in banks in Anambra State.
They said they only access them through black market retailers, wondering how black market operators could have the notes in large quantities, when commercial banks complain that they are scarce.
A trader, Pastor Frank Ejimbe accused CBN officials saying: “You people are doing business with the new naira notes. How can black market people have the new notes to the point that any amount you want, they can sell to you, but banks don’t have it. Does that make sense?”
The officials were also in Building Materials Market, Nkpor, near Onitsha, Odera Market in Awka, where they sensitized the traders on the security features of the notes and the deadline for usage of the old notes.
The bank officials on Thursday also visited Tools and Allied Material Market, Bridge Head, Onitsha.
CBN’s Director, Other Financial Institutions Department, Mrs Nkiru Asiegbu, who spoke to the traders announced that the CBN will not extend the deadline for the usage of the old notes.
“You must also strive to deposit all old notes of the N200, N500, N1,000 before the last day of this month.
“We have met with heads of all commercial banks and directed that they begin the distribution of the new naira notes without further delay.”
Branch Controller, CBN, Awka, Mr Benedict Maduagwu who was also in the team stated that CBN is working hard to ensure that commercial banks comply with the directives.
The bank officials also monitored the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of most commercial banks to ensure that they were disbursing new notes to customers.