There is confusion in the Far North region as to whether the old 500 FCFA coins are still valid or not.
The confusion according to reports stems from a rumor announcing their imminent withdrawal from circulation.
After shunning the new banknotes as soon as they were released, traders decided to shun the 500 Franc coins for no valid reason.
From Maroua to KOUSSERI via Mora, Yagoua and Kaélé, the fear of counterfeit banknotes and invalid coins has been hovering.
According to Hamadou Bachirou, resident of the Far North, “Poor communication from social networks suggests that the release of the new notes is accompanied by the counterfeit notes. This without any basis.”
He added, “Others even go to the extent of claiming that the counterfeit notes are made by the same people who made the real ones. See where false information can lead people and paralyze their commercial activities.”
In the town of Kousseri, the traders have unanimously decided to reject the old 500 Fcfa coins, claiming that they will soon be refused by the institutions.
” We are going through difficult times with the high cost of living. People are still adding the story of coins to pieces and it is to further push people into misery” indicated a head of a family.
In this light, those in possession of the 500 FCFA coins are sometimes forced to send their money back to the Maroua markets which have so far accepted these metals despite the false information circulating.
By Amina Hilda