Drama As Pastors Separate Members with Old, New Naira Notes in Church During Tithes, Offerings

By Sunny A Ijomah

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 tithes from members over the 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.

At a famous Church visited in Benin City, there was a mild drama when members paying their tithes with the new notes were separated from the ones with the old notes, thereby causing severe confusion in the church.

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’. At the same time, members were allowed to pay their offerings and tithes with the old and new notes; the Church announced that she it would not accept the old notes from members from next Sunday’s Service, apparently for fear of the earlier CBN deadline.

The Evidence of Christ Church was a total rejection of the old notes as the church announced the rejection upon the commencement of Sunday Service.

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 the lack of the new notes.

Upon visits to some Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in Benin City, residents (mainly church members) were seen as early as 5 am checking ATMs’ with the hope of withdrawing the new notes for their offerings and tithes.

Their hopes were, however, dashed in most banks they visited owing to their ATMs’ not dispensing money. According to sources

Some people who spoke to our Correspondent admitted that they want to withdraw the new note for their church offerings 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 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.