Queues persist at Taraba bank for cash swap

With three days to the January 31 deadline for Nigerians to swap their old naira notes to the redesigned ones, long queues have persisted at Automated Teller Machines and Banks in Taraba State.

This is as shop owners, tricycle riders and small business owners have started rejecting the old notes as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s deadline draws nearer.

A shop owner at the road block area of Jalingo, Obidiokwu Chigozie, told our correspondent that the queue at banks which took customers several hours to deposit money and even withdraw at ATM was the reason for their rejection of the old naira notes.

A tricycle rider, Abubakar Umar, also told our correspondent that he had stopped collecting old notes because most petrol stations in the city had stopped collecting the old notes, adding that he did not have time to go the bank.

This development has crumbled most business activities in Donga, Ibi, Kurmi and Karim- Lamido Local Government Areas where most shops have stopped collecting old notes.

But the CBN on Saturday said the bank’s currency swap exercise targeted at ensuring that all rural dwellers in Taraba have their old naira notes swapped to new ones or deposited in banks before the January 31 deadline will help address the challenge.

The Director Financial System Strategy, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ibrahim Hassan, who disclosed this to journalists during an awareness visit to Gassol Local Government area, said the currency swap initiative was to help save communities who do not have access to bank to swap their old naira notes to the new notes.

Hassan explained that a similar CBN delegation led by Mr Jackson Imandi, the Deputy Director, were drafted to Karim Lamido Local Government Area of the state, just as delegations were also at different geopolitical zones of Taraba for the Naira swap exercise to ensure that those at the grassroots do not end up losing businesses and other means of livelihood, due to the inability to access the new currency before the January 31 deadline.

“Within seconds of getting information on our arrival and the reason for the visit, a long queue was created by residents to swap their old naira notes.

“Many of them have no bank accounts and relied on the currency swap to keep their Hopes alive after the deadline.

“Businesses were already beginning to shut down in some communities because owners were rejecting the old notes before the arrival of the CBN delegation,” he said.

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