'Naira frenzy' grounds business activities in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara

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The Muslim Rights Concern ( MURIC) has lamented that businesses have been almost grounded in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara State over build up frenzy over the 31 January deadline for expiration of use of old naira notes.

The Sokoto chapter of MURIC raised the alarm in a statement by Malam Muhammad Aliyu issued on Saturday in Abuja.

The organisation noted that traders in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara are refusing to accept the old naira notes for transactions out of fear of possible inability to deposit them in commercial banks before the January 31 deadline.
The situation, MURIC argued has been compounded by the very limited new naira notes in circulation.

“This is because every bank a customer goes, he would meet a very long queue of depositors, trying to deposit their old naira notes in their attempt to beat the deadline. Businessmen have to be at bank as early as 6:00 am in order to join queue at commercial banks to have their old naira notes changed.

“Moreover, because of lack of enough new naira notes in circulation, fear of receiving old naira notes and unsure of whether one could be able to deposit the money he collected from customers at banks before the deadline due to very long queues many businessmen stopped collecting old notes.

“Many filling stations and other essential services providers also closed, because of most of their customers come with old naira notes and they are not sure whether they could be able to deposit same to the bank,” he said.

“This has currently made life more difficult to ordinary citizens. Many Nigerians have lamented the nonavailability and scarcity of the new notes, this is because banks up till today, still give out the old naira notes to customers with the deadline only a few days away.

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He therefore asked Federal Government to extend the Jan. 31 deadline for expiration of old naira notes by at least two weeks.

MURIC said this in a statement by Malam Muhammad Aliyu of its Sokoto Chapter on Saturday in Abuja.

The Islamic organisation also called on the security agencies particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to closely monitor how commercial bank managers handle the new naira notes they are receiving from Central Bank of Nigeria.

The bank noted that apex bank has been consistently insisting that the new notes are readily available at the vaults nationwide ready for collection.

“We call on Nigerians to remain peaceful and stop panicking about the money swap.”


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