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Sanwo-Olu vows to shut down banks rejecting old Naira notes

Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, has vowed to shut down any bank that rejects the old notes.

He revealed that the state government will report banks rejecting old notes to the Central Bank of Nigeria and to shut the offending branch immediately.

The Lagos State Governor made this known in a statement released via his Instagram handle on Monday.

He wrote, “My dear Lagosians, I have noted the difficulties that you have been having over the naira redesign crisis. I feel your pain.

“I discussed with top officials in CBN who assured me that commercial banks were directed to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes as deposits and pay them out for withdrawals. They informed me that commercial banks got the directive at a Bankers Committee meeting on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

“I, therefore, urge you to go ahead and have transactions with the old notes. Lagosians should feel free to use the old notes for commercial purposes. Retailers, transporters, traders and all businesses must not reject them, as they remain legal tender, following the Supreme Court verdict, which extends the validity of the notes to December 31, 2023.

“Any business that fails to collect the notes will be heavily sanctioned.
I therefore advise Lagos residents to freely accept and transact their businesses with the old currency notes (N200; N500; and N1,000)as well as the new notes.

“If any bank refuses to accept deposits of old notes, please lodge a complaint with the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) via these numbers; 08124993895, 09064323154, 08092509777.

“The Lagos State Government will report the bank to the CBN, and immediately shut down the offending branch.

“I thank you so much and assure you that all this too shall pass as the authorities are working to ensure that the teething problems of the redesigning of our currency are resolved.”

The Governor of Lagos State, on early hour of Monday declared that the old naira notes remain legal tender in the state, as earlier ruled by the Supreme Court, freshreporters reports.

In a statement signed by Sanwo-Olu, through his Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, called on business owners in the state, especially retailers, to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes in line with the judgement ruled by apex court that the currency remains legal tender until December 31, 2023.

The statement reads, “The Lagos State Government has noted the hardship sparked by the Naira redesign policy, which has affected business and commercial activities.

“There is no reason to reject the old notes, going by the Supreme Court judgement delivered on March 3, 2023.

“The apex court declared that ‘no reasonable notice was given as required by Section 20(3) of the CBN Act’, noting that the public only became aware of the policy through press remarks, which cannot qualify as a notice to the public.

“The court maintained that the policy has impeded the functions of State governments, pointing out that the directive that stops the use of the old notes is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

“I call on business owners, especially retailers, to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes in line with the Supreme Court judgement that the currency remains legal tender until December 31, 2023. It is illegal to reject the notes.

“All agencies of the Lagos State Government are advised not to reject payments made with the old currency by the public.”

Meanwhile, the The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN finally bowed to pressure following the Supreme Court Ruling to allow Old Naira Notes as legal tender.

According to a statement issued out the Apex bank Monday night, Old notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 are now legal tender till December 31,2023 in obedience to the order by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had ordered the process barely a week.

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