The Deadline Is Upon Us, How Ready Are You?
A few days ago a man was telling hubby and me the story of 1984 when the current president was then the head of state. He changed the design of the currencies then and the policy took people unaware. Two weeks were given to the populace to change the old currency in their possessions.
According to the regime, it was done to curb the menace of some unpatriotic Nigerians that stole money and stack them at home and abroad. The painful part was that the poor people who were expected to gain from the policy became the victims in most cases. Many could not change the currency in their possession to the new one within the two weeks window. This was made worse by two factors; the first being that there was no widely available telecommunication to spread the information and secondly, banks were very few and were located in the State capitals. People formed queues for days in the banking hall and many ended up not changing their old currency to the new one due to the limited availability of the latter. The experience was harrowing. People lost their businesses, homes were scattered. There were suicide cases because of the shock of losing a huge sum of money to the policy.
People that experienced this policy 38 years ago have bad memories of it.
Though things have changed in Nigeria today, we still need to make hay while the sun shines. Failure to do so as I am currently envisaging for some people may make them fall victim to losing their money.
Presently, we have more banks than we had in 1984 and also the communication system is far better for proper information dissemination.
The last deadline is on the 31st of January which is a few days from now, and here in the Northern part of the country, people did not seem to care about the deadline.
The old notes are still very much in circulation. The only place one can have access to the new note is via ATM. Most of the POS operators in my area are still dealing with the old notes.
This was part of the new note hubby got from the ATM a few weeks back, aside from this I haven't come in contact with any whenever I went out for transactions.
Most people here did not seem to care about the seriousness of the CBN to implement the deadline.
As for me, usually I don't deal with much cash. Most of my transactions are through bank transfers. The only time I hold much cash is when I visit the local market to buy foodstuff and I won't be able to do lots of cash transfers since I will be buying from many sellers.
This got me thinking about the question; how prepared are you in other to beat the deadline?
Don't keep much cash at hand, try to be doing transfers for your transactions as much as possible. This way, you can keep only the lower denominations that were not redesigned.
Follow the CBN directive by Withdrawing your cash from Bank ATMs direct as the Banks have been directed to make sure the machines are loaded with the new notes.
Educate your loved ones, so that they will know they shouldn't keep the old notes anymore.
The clock is ticking and I hope that at end of the day, this policy will benefit the masses and not just be another waste of our time and resources or frustrate us for nothing.