Banks issuing old notes but refusing to take them back, Lagos residents lament


Some Lagos residents have regretted collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes from commercial banks after the Supreme Court judgement validating them as legal tender till December 31.

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They told journalists in separate interviews that spending the two old notes had been challenging as Nigerians, and even banks were not accepting the money for their daily transactions.

They also said it was surprising that banks started paying between N5,000 and N10,000 per customer two days after the judgement, compared with N3,000 and N5,000 dispensed from their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) during the cash swap period.

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Matthew Aburime, a student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, who expressed disappointment, said he had been unable to spend the N10,000 he collected from a bank.

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“As we speak, the money is still with me. I’ve not been able to spend it; the first rejection was from a commercial bus driver,” he said.

Mr Aburime urged President Muhammadu Buhari or the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, to make a pronouncement on whether to accept it or not.

Daniel Okpulonu, a trader, lamented that commercial banks warned customers against returning old notes to the bank.


“When I realised that these old notes that I was receiving from my bank were not legal tender was when a bank official announced that people who had received the old notes should not bother bringing it back to deposit, as it would not be acceptable.

“As we speak, I am still going about with the money, looking for where to spend it. All to no avail,” he stated.

Brian Achilefu, a clergy, said it is not a good sign when institutions begin to disrespect the authority of the Supreme Court.

“The CBN should obey the court ruling and do as it ordered so that people and everything can go back to normal,” he said.

Abimbola Alli, a trader at Jakande Estate Market, Okeafa, told journalists she only accepts new notes.

According to her, she took the few old notes that she accepted from her customers to the bank, but she was turned back.

“When I could not deposit it in my bank, and Okada riders also refused to accept it, I decided not to accept it anymore,” she said.

The Supreme Court on March 3 ordered that the old naira notes should be allowed in circulation along with the new notes until December 31.

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