Currency: N100, N50 notes flood Awka as residents rush to dispose old bills


By Aluta News

Jan. 28, 2023

Economic and commercial activities in Awka, the capital town of Anambra, have slowed down due to the insufficient quantity of the newly-designed N1,000, N500 and N200 in circulation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that customers are trooping to their banks to deposit their old currency notes to beat the Jan. 31 deadline for phasing them out.

The NAN Correspondent who monitored the situation also reports that those going for withdrawal were not being paid with the new bills but rather with old notes which most customers reject.

Few banks, however, were disbursing N100, N50 to customers who are willing to accept them.

Mr John Onu, a customer at a new generation bank near Anambra Government House, said the bank had not paid him with the new bills since they were introduced last year.

Onu said the bank was still paying him with old notes until early this week when the branch stopped paying.

“I have not been paid with the new note, they have been disbursing the old notes up to last Wednesday as if the deadline is a joke.

“Now, we can not get the money we need for our transactions from the bank, though the ATMs are disbursing new notes but most times, they are out of service,” he said.

Another customer, who wished to be known simply as Mrs Agatha, said some banks had been paying with only N100, N50 notes which were not affected by the redesign.

Agatha said that was responsible for the resurgence of N100, N50 which used to be scarce but regretted that customers could not draw much of them because of the bulkiness and security risk involved.

She wondered why the redesigned notes are still very scarce less than a week to the expiration of the old notes.

According to him, “it is either the CBN is not serious or the commercial banks are sabotaging it, these new notes are sold in the open market, why can we not get them from banks.

NAN further reports that the cost of Point of Sale (PoS) transactions has increased by between 100 per cent  and 150 per cent as depositing or withdrawal of N10,000 which used to be N100 is now N200.

Customers that insisted to be paid with new bills will have to part with N400 for every N10,000.

Nneka, a PoS operator, said the increase was due to the scarcity of the new notes for which they must grease palms to get at the bank.

Nneka said depositing the old notes would be difficult at the week because most banks in Awka would not operate until Tuesday, Jan. 31, which was the deadline for the swap.

She expressed worry that most residents still had the old notes in their possession.