The residents of Anambra have gathered in banks and markets across the region’s major cities following the January 31 deadline set for the old nkte to stop being a legal tender.
The Punch observed while moving across different regions and some part of Awka on Saturday that traders have been forced to close their shops as a result of the scarcity, to avoid being paid the old note which is still everywhere.
Meanwhile, the traders who had the courage to open their shops made little or no sales owing to their refusal to collect the old note.
The Punch reported that people were many at the Automated Teller Machines of the commercial banks, and some machines were still dispensing the old note. POS operators were also still giving the old note.
It was noted that commercial activities were at a standstill as businesses insisted on being paid with the new Naira notes.
Some of the residents lamented over the situation as a number of them still had their old notes with them.
A resident of Onitsha, Odume said, “When I could not withstand the heavy crowd at the banking halls, I came into the market to buy foodstuffs with the old notes with me as we don’t know what fate holds for us after today.
“Monday is sit-at-home in the South-East and after that, it’s Tuesday, so if we don’t spend the old notes today, it might be very difficult to do so on Tuesday.”
Some of the residents had no option but to resolve into panic-buying so as to spend the old note at their disposal before January 31.
They also lamented over the exchange rate hike by the PoS vendors as they collect N3000 over every N10000
According to a transport operator in Onitsha, Okechukwu Onu, “The banks in the South-East will shut down till Tuesday, because Monday is sit-at-home and by that day, the banks might refuse to allow us lodge the old notes.
“So, what we are doing is to also safeguard ourselves so that we are not stranded by Tuesday.”