Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed businesses in Lagos to collect the old naira notes or face sanction.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, in a statement on Monday, directed residents to go ahead and have transactions with the old naira notes. According to him, Lagos residents should feel free to use the old notes for commercial purposes.
He said his directive on collecting the old banknote was based on the Supreme Court verdict, which extended the validity of the notes to December 31, 2023, and the Bankers Committee’s directive to the commercial banks during its meeting on March 12.
The governor expressed displeasure at Lagos residents’ hardship over naira scarcity.
He said the government would sanction any business that failed to collect the old notes. Mr Sanwo-Olu warned that any bank that failed to collect old notes would be shut down immediately and reported to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
”The Lagos state government will report erring banks to the CBN and immediately shut down the offending branch,” stated the Lagos governor.
He instructed Lagos residents to lodge complaints against any bank that refused to accept deposits of old notes to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) via these numbers; 08124993895, 09064323154, 08092509777.
”My dear Lagosians, I have noted the difficulties 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,” said Mr Sanwo-Olu. ”They informed me that commercial banks got the directive at a Bankers Committee meeting on Sunday, March 12, 2023.”
He added, ”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.”