Deadline for Old Naira Notes: How Is It Affecting You? Lagos Traders Voice Out Their Frustration
- Nigerians have continued to lament the hardship experienced in recent times regarding the CBN cash policy
- It is no longer funny as they decry the scarcity of the new naira notes and the current hike in the price of fuel and scarcity of the product
- While the federal government and the CBN bowed to pressure by extending the deadline for the new notes swap by 10 days, Nigerians lament the non-collection of the old notes, and the new ones, not in circulation
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Lagos traders have expressed deep worry over the current hardship they are faced with in recent times.
According to businessmen and women, the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN)'s recent policy is affecting their businesses, especially the recent redesign of the nation's currency, the N200, N500 and the N1,000 notes.
This week, Legit.ng had a chat with some of the traders at Mile 12 international market, Lagos state and they expressed their opinion on the burning issue in the polity.
During this period, the shortage of Petrol and the deadline for the use of the old naira notes has become disturbing issue in the polity.
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On Sunday, January 27th, the CBN extended the deadline by ten days (10), from Tuesday, January 31st through February 10th, but the traders are not satisfied with the development, they revealed how it is affecting their businesses and customers.
Sales are affected, loyal customers lament, a trader revealed
A trader who sells foodstuff items such, disclosed that the level of sales during this period dropped following the development but they devised a new method to assist customers having issues with the use of the old notes and getting the new notes.
According to him, transfer was the new option they adopted and the sales in recent days is a bit encouraging.
"The CBN's policy is affecting our business at the moment, we do not see it as a bad policy but the major problem is that certain arrangements were not made and the masses are bearing the cost.
"Presently, sales has been very bad but since the issue of swapping the old naira notes for the new ones surfaced, we decided to start collecting transfers from our loyal customers who are having issues spending the old notes and getting the new ones as well.
"For us traders at the market, we still collect the old naira notes and that is the only way we can keep our customers and not end up in a loss this period."
Fuel shortage affects the availability of some goods
The trader who hailed from the eastern region of the country revealed the hike in the cost price of fuel and the scarcity of the product has affected the availability of foodstuff items, especially egusi and crayfish.
The trader said,
"We have a major problem which is, fuel scarcity and price hike.
"Fuel shortage and scarcity have affected us to a large extent, as it stands, crayfish is very expensive, a bag of crayfish is sold for N300,000, but as it stands now, supply is very low, because our suppliers have issues bringing the item to us at the moment.
"They lamented that the fuel, the boat uses to get to the sea and bring the crayfish is very scarce, no fuel, the boat can't work and when the boat stopped working, the crayfish becomes scarce, which is the matter now.
"For egusi and ogbono, the cost of transporting the items asides from the increment in its cost price has increased, hence the cost price of the goods rises further.
"A bag of egusi sells from N190,000, 200,000 upwards while ogbono, the new ogbono is in the market. The new ogbono draws well and a bag is sold from N280,000 while bag of the old ones is sold from N230,000 and below. We are selling, but the government should try and make life easy for us, survival is getting tougher by the day."
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The Naira swap policy affects the purchasing power of buyers
The new policy of the CBN according to a young trader at the market is not only affecting the supply of goods but the purchasing power of buyers.
He noted that the buyers are lamenting the scarcity of the new naira notes and the rejection of the old notes.
The trader opined thus:
"The scarcity of the new naira notes bites harder and buyers are feeling the heat more but transfer is the new saving grace style that we have adopted to sell and receive cash from customers as wholesalers but retailers and those selling cook food items are at the receiving end of the new cash policy.
"If they don't purchase the goods we sell, we will end up at a loss.
"The CBN policy is affecting us badly and buyers decry scarcity of the new notes and revealed the banks and Point of Sales agents are making life more unbearable for them.
"The banks don't dispense enough new notes, the POS agents charge a different amount of money just to give out the new notes, which is very funny but pathetic. The new trend now is that the new notes are not in circulation and the old ones, are being dispensed by the banks, so the CBN are confusing us the people.
"Because of this recent development, there is long queue at the filling stations due to hike in price of fuel and scarcity of the product and there is long queue at the banks inside the banking hall and outside due to the new money palava.
"Sales have been very low, but as the usual norm, no matter the situation in the country, people must eat and hence, we would sell our goods but the profit margin would be evident after daily sales. This is our present predicament."
Hike in transport fare, another big worry, a buyer at the market noted
"At the moment, filling stations are demanding new notes, they are no longer collecting old notes.
"The situation is worse as transporters have increased transportation fares and there is a scarcity of new notes, it is not in circulation, and POS is frustrating us, charging us double for any transaction.
"The policy only favour the rich, politicians and all, it does not favour the masses, we are suffering and we are sad about this development.
"So it is now a game of the survival of the fittest at the moment because we don't know the fate that await us in the coming days," a buyer at the market told Legit.ng correspondent."
Buhari gives reasons for CBN naira redesign policy as Nigerians get desperate
President Muhammadu Buhari again defended the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign a higher denomination of the Naira.
According to Buhari, the policy was targeted at individuals in possession of illicit funds and not ordinary Nigerians.
The president disclosed this in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Saturday, 28 January 2023.