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Oil marketers reject old naira notes despite CBN directive

Oil marketers, on Monday, insisted that they were no more interested in the old naira notes and would not collect them from the public, despite claims that the Central Bank of Nigeria had cleared the bills for the transaction.

It was also gathered that Deposit Money Banks had yet to communicate any directive to oil marketers as regards the collection of the old naira notes.

Marketers of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, and other petroleum products, told our correspondent that since the Federal Government had redesigned the naira notes, it should make it surplus and stop putting Nigerians into confusion.

“They said they have redesigned the naira, and if they have done that, then the Central Bank of Nigeria should release the new money. Why are they taking us backwards and confusing people? What are we going to do with the old money?” the Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, stated.

He added, “The Federal Government said it had directed the CBN to destroy the old notes and that the notes cease to be legal tender. So as far as we are concerned, and as businessmen, it will be very difficult to go ahead and start collecting that money.

“For it is until we hear that banks have started collecting it before we will start collecting it from the public. But as far as we are concerned, we will not collect any old money in any of our petrol stations.

He said the banks “have not told us to collect the old notes, and even the new notes, we are not seeing them. Majorly the fuel we are selling is through bank transfers and Point of Sale service, which is cashless.”

Shuaibu argued that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had said that his directive was for the CBN to destroy the old N1,000 and N500 notes, and that they ceased to be legal tender.

“So where are the old notes coming from? And if not for the network problem we encounter in Nigeria, this cashless policy is the best,” the IPMAN official stated.

He stressed that if the Federal Government was insisting on the redesigned new notes, it should make it surplus and allow it to circulate.

Commenting on the judgement of the Supreme Court, Shuaibu said, “Based on that judgement, we now have two types of N1,000 notes – old and new, as well as N500 notes. Now, which one is the authentic legal tender?

“The Federal Government said it had stopped the old notes, and the Supreme Court said people should transact with it till December, please, which one should we follow?

“If we are going to be using both, it means we will have two types of N1,000 and N500 notes in circulation. Is this not going to create confusion? The CBN should come out and tell us, or tell the commercial banks.”

He said the commercial banks should then tell the oil marketers, in order to have a seamless flow of cash across the country.

“But as far as we are concerned, those of us in this business, we don’t even want that old money again and we are not going to collect it.

“However, as I’m talking to you now, if the banks had asked us to collect the old notes, I will be the first to accept it and deposit same to the banks. But honestly, there’s nothing like that now,” Shuaibu stated.

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