PRIOR to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announcement of a 10-day extension of the deadline for the use of old Naira notes across Nigeria, controversy and confusion surrounded the new Naira notes as some Churches in Edo State on Sunday stopped collecting old notes for offerings and tithing from members over fear of not meeting the earlier January 31st deadline.
A visit to some churches in Benin City revealed that while most Pentecostal Churches accepted the old and new notes for offerings and tithes, it was not the same for others as they refused to accept the old notes from members.
It was gathered that the All Souls Anglican Church, Living Faith Church, all in Benin City and Corporate Worship Church, Campus II, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi accepted both the old and new Naira Notes for their tithes and offerings.
At the Salvation Assurance Ministries, AKA, ‘I Care Centre’, while members were allowed to pay their offerings and tithes with the old and new notes, the Church announced that it would not accept the old notes from members from next Sunday Service, apparently for fear of the earlier CBN deadline.
For the Evidence of Christ Church, it was a total rejection of the old notes as the church announced the rejection upon the commencement of Sunday Service yesterday.
Members were seen paying their tithes and offerings with the new Naira notes while others sat down in their chairs in what was later scooped to be informed by lack of the new notes .
Upon visits to some Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in Benin City, residents (mainly church members) were seen as early as 5am checking ATMs’ with the hope to withdrawing the new notes for their offerings and tithing.
Their hopes were, however, dashed in most banks they visited owing to their ATMs’ not dispensing money.
Some of the people who spoke to our Correspondent admitted that they want to withdraw the new note for their church offering and tithes and expressed fear that their churches may not accept the old notes.
They claimed that if they collect the old notes, they would have nowhere to take the money to since banks only have old notes.
It would be recalled that despite CBN’s threat of sanctioning banks who refuse to issue the new Naira notes, banks are currently swamped by hundreds of depositors with only old notes.