New Naira Notes: Cash Scarcity Hits Abakaliki As CBN Deadline Nears

Barely four days to the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the return of old naira notes, a scarcity of new naira notes has hit Abaliki, the Ebonyi state capital.

This comes as traders and commercial vendors have begun to reject the old notes for financial transactions. This problem is worsened by unavailability of the new notes by most of the commercial banks in the state.

When THE WHISTLER visited the ATMs at Zenith Bank, Ecobank and UBA bank branches along Ogoja road in the state capital, they were not dispensing cash because they ‘reportedly’ had no new naira note.

Union bank and First bank, the only banks dispensing the new naira notes was overcrowded.

At Ecobank, one of the security men who spoke to our correspondent said, “Our ATM machine isn’t dispensing cash because we don’t have new naira notes to give.”

At UBA, a customer who came to make a withdrawal complained bitterly of how difficult it has been to get cash, “Why is Nigeria such a difficult place to live, I have been driving round from one bank to another, with no hope of getting cash. In fact, most of the banks I went to said they don’t have the new notes to dispense while the banks that have new note is overcrowded.”

At Romchi park, travellers lamented the scarcity of the new notes.

One of the travellers who identified herself as Ijeoma, told our correspondent that she travelled from the village to get the new note, only to discover it was unavailable.

“I came here (Abakaliki) from the village to get the new currency, because people are already rejecting it in the village, only to discover that the new note isn’t even available. I queued for over four hours to no avail. It’s so annoying,” she said.

A POS operator in the park who still gives old notes to customers lamented her inability to get the new naira notes from banks which has negatively affected her business due to people’s reluctance to collect the old notes.

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