Traders, motorists, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) vendors and micro-sector operators are yet to come to terms with accepting the old N500 and N1000 notes despite the order of the Supreme Court stating that the old notes remain legal tender till the end of the year.
Although banks have continued to pay the old N500 and N1000 notes across their counters, Mrs Taiwo Aina, a bread seller, said it has not generated popular acceptance and the reason is that Nigerians are more inclined to listening to the directives of the CBN, rather than court rulings.
Another trader, Mrs Simiat Mustapha, a single mother of four and Kolanut seller, said her business suffers a lot of setbacks as farmers are not interested in taking e-payment but prefer the new currency which is hard to get by, hence getting means of survival is difficult.
Some people who spoke on the development in Ilorin said the silence of the two major stakeholders — the Federal Government and the CBN — has shown that people in authority are undisturbed about the adverse effects of their policies on the masses.
The implementation of the new naira notes policy has continued to suffer setbacks as the newly printed notes remain scarce in circulation.
For residents who travel long distances in search of cash, defying the scorching sun to keep watch at bank gates, and waiting for some succour, the situation is depressing.
An 80-year-old retiree, Pa Adeleye Akanbi, along with some other senior citizens, sat quietly by the gate of a commercial bank at A’ Division area of Ilorin, looking worried.
Pa Akanbi said all efforts to gain entrance into the banking hall for over three hours were futile.
“I’ve been banking for more than 40 to 50 years, I’ve never experienced this kind of suffering on my money,” Pa Akanbi lamented.
Another bank customer, Habeeb Alao, who expressed his frustration with the development, said the country’s judiciary has been rendered toothless.
“Let’s just say that we don’t have judiciary in this country, because what’s the essence of the judiciary when constituted authorities disrespect their laws and judgement,” he said.
A human rights activist, Mohamed Ayodele Ataba, who described the silence of the two major stakeholders as disheartening, said some people have lost their jobs due to the non-availability of cash for transportation.
He expressed hope that the stress would be over soon and advised people not to take laws into their hands.