Many churches in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Sunday rejected the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes as offerings, insisting on the new currencies.
This, it was gathered, constrained many worshippers to give their offerings electronically, following their inability to get the new naira notes which have remained unavailable.
Our correspondents who visited some churches in Abuja observed that old notes were not accepted in many churches.
At The Redeemed Christian Church of God located along Airport Road, the announcer said, “We have been given a directive last week to stop collecting the old notes, so please today, it is the new notes.
“I’m sure you have it and if you don’t have it, you can please make a transfer to the church account. Thank you.”
Also, a branch of the Church under FCT province 2 rejected the old notes and encouraged members to go cashless.
However, a new-generation church did not give preference on notes to be given
A member who spoke to our correspondent said, “We just collected offerings, old or new. People gave what they had.
“Every seat has a customised envelope that is usually on the chairs before the service starts and we either pay in the envelope or transfer it to the church account.”
At the Living Faith Church in Kubwa, a satellite town in FCT, it was observed that the church was no longer accepting old notes for offering and tithes.
The members were encouraged to transfer their offerings and tithes electronically or write a cheque.
However, a worshipper, Stephanie Ekpo told The PUNCH that in the past two weeks, the church has been announcing that it will no longer accept the old notes with effect from January 29.
Our correspondent who visited the regional headquarters of The Apostolic Faith Church, Jabi, observed a notice on the board warning members against offering the old naira notes.
One of the pastors also reiterated the warning during the Sunday service.
At the Dunamis Church along Airport Road, Lugbe, it was observed that old notes were still in circulation but the church prohibited members from spending the money with effect from Sunday.
At the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Sanctuary of Great God Parish, Dutse Tipper Garage, the collection of offerings went on normally, and there was no announcement regarding the new naira or any preference of notes.
At the Petra Christian Centre, Peka Park and Gardens, Wuse Zone 3, members were seen offering both the old and new currencies.
Equally at the Celebration Church, Eden Park and Gardens, Utako, there was no preference for the new notes.
The Living Faith Church in the Lokogoma area of FCT did not reject the old notes.
Also, at the Celestial Church of Christ, Central Cathedral, Garki, our correspondent reports that there was no restriction on the old notes but it was observed that the majority of the congregants gave the new notes as offerings.
At the Living Faith Church, Jikwoyi, Abuja, parishioners had no directive on the use of old or new currency notes for either offering or tithes.
The Senior Deacon, Gabriel Idris, who monitors offering and tithes’ collection told our correspondent that the bulk of monies collected in the church were old notes.
“You know ours is a big church. Banks come at every service to take the money away. What we collected today were mostly old notes. I can say more than 90 per cent of what worshippers gave the church in the form of offerings and tithes were old notes,” he said.
The same situation was observed at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Kubwa, Abuja, where members freely gave the old notes during the mass.
The PUNCH also observed that some churches around Lagos and its environs are still collected the old notes as offering on Sunday.
A leader in one of the churches along Ikotun-Idimu Road, Alimosho Local Government Area, who simply gave his name as Mr Augustine said, “Churches can still collect the old currency for today because they have tomorrow to go and make the deposits in the bank. But no one may be collecting the old notes within the week.”
A member of the Redeemed Church along, Liasu Road, Egbe, Ikotun, who doesn’t want his name on prints, said there parish still collected old notes as offerings and other things on Sunday.