The Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said any business operating in the state that rejects old naira notes would be “heavily sanctioned”.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that Sanwo-Olu had earlier on Monday directed all state government agencies not to reject payments made in old currency.
Sanwo-Olu said in a statement issued by Gboyega Akosile, his chief press secretary, that all Lagosians should feel free to use the old notes for commercial purposes.
He warned that any bank branch that did not collect the old notes would be closed immediately and reported to the central bank.
Sanwo-Olu advised Lagos residents to file complaints with the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) against any bank that refuses to accept deposits of old notes.
“My dear Lagosians, I have noted the difficulties you have been having over the naira redesign crisis. I feel your pain,” the statement reads.
“I discussed with top officials in CBN who assured me that commercial banks were directed to accept the old ₦500 and ₦1,000 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 (₦200; ₦500; and ₦1,000) 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.”