Nigerian students and traders have picked holes in President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement that the old notes except for the N200 cease to be legal tender. In a broadcast Thursday, President Buhari said the old N200 note will remain in circulation until April 10, 2023. But according to the National Association of Nigerian Students and the National Association of Ogun State Students, Buhari’s ‘N200 gift’ is nothing but a scratch on the surface of a big problem. The students lamented that the N200 notes are not really in circulation like the N500 and N1000 notes because many ATMs do not dispense the N200 notes. They accused Buhari and Emefiele of inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians with the naira redesign policy. “Is Emefiele bigger than the entire people of Nigeria that the policy cannot be reversed? Is Buhari not in charge of the country that he has found it difficult to yield to the demands of Nigerians and sack Emefiele?” the students asked.
Meanwhile, some traders and owners of some retail outlets have vowed to reject the old N200 notes. Mr. Paul Akintoyibo said that the decision was good, but that he would not receive any old notes from any of his customers. “After all, I suffered from depositing just N7,000 old notes, and now someone is telling me to start collecting another old note. No way, I will never collect the old notes again,’’ he said. Mr. Ola, who sells food stuffs along Ede Road in Osun, said the reintroduction of the old N200 notes will not solve the current hardship. He said: “I will not be part of this confusion in Buhari’s government. I will not collect any old notes again. I’m tired.” Akpan Ekpo, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom, said allowing only the old N200 notes to circulate for 60 days would not solve the problem of the poor people. “The President’s position is not fully reassuring. He should allow the old denominated notes and the new notes to be used side by side. As the banks get the old notes, they keep them, and then later, the central bank can exchange them. “Allowing just the old N200 is just temporary, it is something, but it won’t solve the problem of the poor people,’’ Ekpo said.

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