Nigerians in the rural areas are rejecting the new notes in circulation over fear of counterfeit.
The Central Bank of Nigeria in October announced an emergency redesign of the N1000, N500 and N200 notes.
Nigerian banks began over the counter disbursement of the new notes on December 15.
The notes are still limited in supply as the CBN had promised to step up effort to print and distribute the new notes.
But the rural dwellers are treating the notes with skepticism.
Most rural communities are yet to see a sample of the new notes sparking a major fear of not falling victim of accepting the fake notes allegedly in circulation.
At Atan Abam, a community in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, most retail shops prefer transacting with the old notes which will be faced off by the end of January 2023.
A shop owner Kalu, who spoke to THE WHISTLER said he won’t accept the new notes particularly N1,000 denomination because he has not seen one since it began circulation.
He said, “I can’t risk accepting new N1,000 when I don’t know the difference between the fake and original.”
Asides the fears of rural dwellers, some retail shops in the Federal Capital Territory are also cautious of the new notes due to similar fears of “fake notes” in circulation.
In Umuahia, Abia State, some POS operators have fallen victims of accepting counterfeit.
Ngozi, a POS operators in Umuahia said she accepted counterfeit of N1,000 denomination.
“I didn’t know the difference in the notes. I thought it was the original note then someone came to me. Someone paid me cash and I transfered to a particular account. He gave me N10,000 and N2,000 were new notes. I later discovered that they were fake,’ she lamented.
A senior Department of State Service operative in Umuahia who spoke to THE WHISTLER on the condition of anonymity said some “rural Nigerians are scared not to accept the new notes to avoid falling victim. “
He said a lot of speculations both on social media has influenced people’s apathy for the new notes.
“People do not want to lose their hard earned money to fraudstars” he added.