Terrorists suspected to be members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) have distributed huge amounts of old notes to scores of commuters in the Lake Chad Basin ahead of the deadline of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cashless policy, sources have said.
It was gathered that the incident occurred after Mairari village, along the Maiduguri/Monguno highway in Guzamala LGA of Borno State.
According to reports, the terrorists dressed in military camouflage and drove two gun trucks.
A resident, Bakura Ibrahim, said the insurgents positioned themselves under a tree and stood by the roadside with bags of old naira notes.
“We left Monguno at about 12 noon. As we approached Mairari, there were no existing checkpoints in the area; we were apprehensive.
“They stopped us and asked if we were going to Maiduguri, then they started giving each person 100,000 old naira notes, but we could not believe it. They gave each occupant of the Golf Volkswagen,” Bakura told DAILY TRUST.
Another source added, “The group simply told us, “If you think you can go to their banks and change it to new naira, go and do so; may Allah make it beneficial to you.”
The governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele had on November 23, 2022, unveiled redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 notes
The apex bank had fixed January 31 as the date for the expiration of the old notes.
However on Sunday, the apex bank after President Muhammadu Buhari approval extended the deadline for the swap of the old naira notes at commercial banks by 10 days.
The naira redesign is believed to be targeted at stopping vote buying in the 2023 general election scheduled for February 25 and March 11.