Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji has appealed to residents of the state to continue to accept the old and new naira notes as means of transactions in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court which extended the validity date of the old naira notes till December 23, 2023.
Oyebanji, however, said the government would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners, transporters, supermarkets and residents rejecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes in the state.
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The Supreme Court had, in its March 3rd ruling, extended the validity date for the old naira notes in a case instituted by some states within the federation including Ekiti State.
Governor Oyebanji who noted complaints by residents that many business concerns in the state refused to accept the old naira notes as means of transaction, said ” it becomes unlawful for any business owner or service provider to reject the old notes.”
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, and made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, the governor urged Ekiti people to accept the old naira notes till the December deadline and stay clear of actions that could create hardship for one another.
The Governor appealed to the market women, artisans, transporters, filling stations, supermarket owners, school proprietors and service providers to remain law abiding and accept the old naira notes.
According to him, “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.
“The State Government had joined other states to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court in reversing the new naira policy which the states averred had inflicted excruciating pain and hardship on the people in addition to crippling economic activities.
“As honourable people, what is expected of us is to abide by the ruling of the apex court and continue to accept the old naira notes as means of transactions and not to inflict further hardship on one another by rejecting it.
“This is a special appeal to all the banks 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.
“Our Government will continue to explore avenues to make life more meaningful for our people, as we continue to build a more prosperous state.
“In the same vein, Government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners found rejecting the old naira notes.”
He also urged the commercial banks and CBN to make the old and new currencies available in their branches and at their automated teller machines (ATM) points to ease residents’ stress to get money for their daily and commercial needs.