Many residents of Lokoja have expressed anxiety and fear on what they describe as inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide necessary instruments for effective swapping of the old naira notes.
Some of the residents spoke with newsmen in Lokoja on Wednesday, asking why the apex bank could make the process somewhat difficult.
According to some of them, the bank that made the policy should not be given excuses but ought to have made all the necessary arrangements for unhindered currency swap operations.
Mr Joe Agada, a business man from Olawo town in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi, said that he had been coming to the CBN office on Hassan Katsina Road, Lokoja, for the past two day without any positive result in that regard.
“I was here yesterday, but I was asked to come back today for a form that I need to fill before the swapping of my old notes could be effected.
“Again, on coming here, I was told that the forms are not ready. They asked me to put down my name and phone number and go back until I was called.
“This is stressful because we are afraid they may not help us as promised looking at the Feb. 17 deadline.
“We are innocent villagers who couldn’t have the opportunity to come to Lokoja to change the old notes,’’ he said.
Another resident, Mr Sidi Ibrahim, a farmer from Musu Village in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi, begged CBN to save his family and others from hunger and suffering.
“You may not believe that we brought all we have alongside N2,000, N1,500 that I gathered from our old men and women to swap with CBN’’.
“The CBN form that I could fill to effect the swap is not a good news to hear because going back before returning here again will be stressful and time consuming,’’ he said.
Ibrahim appealed to the CBN management to hasten the process to ameliorate the suffering of the public in swapping of the currency.
Kogi CBN Branch Controller Ahmed Sule, however, expressed regret over the non-availability of the forms for easy swapping of the old naira notes.
“We are aware of the anxiety and apprehension among the residents but honestly we don’t have the forms to give them.
“Our link that is expected to enable us download the forms is not opening for us; that is why I instructed that names and phone numbers should be taken to enable us to call them back once the forms are ready,’’ he explained.
He said that when the forms were available, residents would be expected to fill them according to the amount of money indicated for swapping.