The governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has revealed that despite his position, he has yet to see the new naira notes. He said this Wednesday as he backed calls for the extension of the deadline for changing the old naira notes to the redesigned ones.
Ortom said he was concerned about the short duration handed to Nigerians to effect the change of their old notes to the new ones considering the rural dwellers who are yet to be aware of the development and the fact that the new notes were scarce.
Speaking at the Government House in Makurdi when the Governing Council of Joseph Sarwaaun Tarka University, Makurdi (JOSTUM) paid him a visit, Ortom said, “As governor, I have not seen any new naira despite six days to the deadline. What will happen to the man in the village? I join the senate in calling for the extension of the change of the currency from the old to the new one.
“Our people are already going through the pains of insecurity in this country. A majority of the people are suffering. Things are not okay in the country, Mr President should know this.”
However, our correspondent reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend took its new naira bills campaign to markets in Benue State.
The officials of the bank were at both North Bank and Modern markets in Makurdi where traders and other stakeholders were sensitised about the change of some denominations of the currency.
Director, Financial Markets Department of the CBN, Dr Angela Shere-Ejembi who led the team to Benue State to ensure commercial banks dispense the new naira notes to the populace, stressed the need for people to take their old naira to the banks in exchange for the new ones.
Shere-Ejembi represented by Demenongu Yanfa, a Deputy Director in the Financial Market Department, said that the monitoring team were in the state to ensure that the message of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emifele about the new currencies – N200, N500 and N1000 – were complied with.
“The CBN is working to ensure that the practice of bank issuing old notes will no longer repeat itself. We have been in Benue for three days and went to all the banks to check their Automated Dispensing Machine (ATM).
“We have bad news for any bank still dispensing old notes. So, report to us any of such banks still dispensing the old notes or call the numbers on the flyers distributed to you,” he said.