Sanwo-Olu, Soludo direct banks, businesses to collect old naira notes

Governors of Lagos and Anambra states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Charles Soludo have directed banks and businesses in their states to collect old naira notes from customers in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Sanwo-Olu gave the directive in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso.

According to Sanwo-Olu following the ruling of the apex court, the banks had no reason to reject the old notes.

“The apex court declared that ‘no reasonable notice was given as required by Section 20(3) of the CBN Act,” the statement said, 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.

“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has, therefore, called 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,” the statement added.

Soludo also in a statement he personally signed, said Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele confirmed to him in a telephone conversation that banks can now transact in the old notes.

Soludo said: “Commercial banks have been directed by the Central Bank to dispense old currency notes and to also receive same as deposits from customers. Tellers at the commercial banks are to generate the codes for deposits and there is no limit to the number of times an individual or company can make deposits.

“The Governor of the CBN gave the directive at a Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Sunday, 12th March, 2023. The Governor, Dr Godwin Emefiele, personally confirmed the above to me during a phone conversation on Sunday night. Residents of Anambra are therefore advised to freely accept and transact their businesses with the old currency notes (N200; N500; and N1,000) as well as the new notes.

“Residents should report any bank that refuses to accept deposits of the old notes. Anambra State Government will not only report such a bank to the CBN, but will also immediately shut down the defaulting branch.”

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