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New naira notes: Relief as businesses pick up in Gombe communities


New Naira Notes: Relief as Businesses Pick Up in Gombe Communities

Residents of Shongom, Awak, and Dogon Ruwa communities in Gombe State said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had addressed the shortage of the new naira notes, which had crippled business transactions in the communities.

A cross-section of the residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said by making the new naira notes available, the CBN had helped traders in rural areas overcome difficulties in conducting business transactions.

NAN reports that a team comprising CBN officials and commercial bank agents on Monday visited the communities to collect old Naira notes from residents in exchange for the newly redesigned ones.

According to the residents, from Jan. 20, many of them found it difficult to carry out business transactions as traders and transporters refused to collect old notes in exchange for goods. They said the CBN intervention had not only eased difficulties in accessing the redesigned Naira notes but also helped in facilitating businesses, which were affected by the Jan. 31 deadline, now extended to Feb. 10.

Ms Bathsheba Boyi, a resident of the Kulishin community in Shongom LGA, said business activities were crippled because traders in her community were rejecting the old notes for transactions. Boyi said this affected businesses in the community and other adjoining communities, but that with the intervention of the CBN, people had started receiving the new Naira notes in the community.

“That was the relief for people like us here that have no banks but rely on POS agents who have faced similar challenges as we have,“ she said. She stated that some people from their communities had to travel to Gombe, a distance of over 60 kilometres, just to exchange their old notes for the redesigned Naira notes.

“But today, we have this money in our domain; now I can buy anything without my money being rejected by traders,“ said Boyi.

For Umar Kabini, a 72-year-old resident of the Awak community, it was his first time touching the money, spite several efforts to change his old notes to enable him to make payment for goods. Kabini said business had been negatively affected, “but for some days, we were able to get the new notes from some Kaltungo communities through the CBN, and that helped us to purchase goods.

“ On her part, Aisha Buba from the Dogon Ruwa community said she and some traders had stopped selling „nono“ (milk) because „we don’t want to collect old notes as many of us do not have bank accounts.

“I don’t know how to operate an account, and what I sell is not much, so I didn’t see the need for an account.

“Now that things are becoming different, I will tell the agents sent by CBN to help me out.“

Aminu Kabiru, a shop owner in Dogon Ruwa, said business had not been good for some days because of the challenge of exchanging old notes for the newly redesigned Naira notes.

“As you can see, someone just used the new note collected from the bank agents to buy something from my shop.“

“Since the CBN team visited our community today with new notes, businesses will come alive again, that’s my hope”, he said.

Others who spoke to NAN corroborated the views of the residents while commending CBN for coming to the communities with the redesigned Naira notes through agents, which had no banks.


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