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Government Set To Sanction Strangers That Reject Old Naira Notes In Ekiti And Abia State



The Ekiti State Government has warned citizens of their states not to reject the old naira notes as means of transaction in line with the Supreme Court judgement otherwise they would be arrested and face prosecution.

The Abia State Government also threatened to sanction anyone found rejecting the old notes.

Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, gave the warning in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, on Saturday.

Oyebanji said, “Banks are to make the naira notes available in all their branches and pay points and to all traders, business owners, service providers, okada riders, drivers, filling stations, gas plants, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, POS operators, to start accepting the old notes forthwith.

“To do otherwise would amount to defying the ruling of the highest court in the country and thwarting government efforts at reducing the hardship of the people. The government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners found rejecting the old naira notes.

“This is an appeal to all residents of Ekiti State to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court which provides a reprieve for the people by extending the validity date of the old naira notes till December 31st.”

Similarly, the Abia State Government, in a statement on Saturday by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chris Ezem, threatened to sanction any person, group, or business entity that rejects the old 500 and 1,000 naira notes for business transactions.

Ezem stated that the decision was in line with the Supreme Court ruling extending the validity of the old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes as legal tender to December 31.

He stated, “Abia State Government advises Abia residents to feel free to carry out their financial transactions with the old naira notes alongside the new notes as stipulated. Any individual, group or business entity that rejects the old notes will be contravening the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and stands the risk of facing sanctions.”

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State government has called on business operators, banks, traders, and transporters in the state to obey the Supreme Court ruling directing that the old notes circulate with the new notes till the stipulated date.

This was announced in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba, on Saturday.

He said the government came up with the 24 hours ultimatum after some residents of the state capital, Yenagoa, staged a peaceful protest against the rejection of the old N1,000 and N500 notes by businesses, banks, filling stations, eateries, traders and transporters in the state.

Duba said, “The government, therefore, urges business operators in the state, particularly banks, traders, and keke (tricycle) to take into consideration the Supreme Court ruling in order to reduce the pains of people of the state.

“While the state government is not against the naira redesign policy of the CBN or the Federal Government, it is however not comfortable with the method of its implementation that has resulted in further hardship on people of the state and, indeed, the country.”

Meanwhile, residents of Osogbo in Osun State have decried their inability to spend the old N500 and N1,000 denominations in spite of the Supreme Court’s judgement.

Residents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday expressed their happiness with the judgment but stated their disappointment when traders refused to accept the money.

A civil servant, Mr Adejare Agunloye, said he withdrew N10,000 old notes through the Automated Teller Machine but was disappointed when traders refused to collect the money from him.

Victoria Philip is not only a Journalist but also a fiction writer and script writer. She is popularly known on Facebook as Onyekachi Ikeh #fromyourfastfingers You can reach her on this number 08135853903