Nigeria: Naira Scarcity - Collect Old Notes or Be Shut Down, Sanwo-Olu Tells Banks

14 March 2023

As Lagos residents groan under the biting effects of cash crunch, the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed the banks in the state to comply with the Supreme Court on old Naira notes, saying any bank that refused to accept the old notes for transaction would be shut down.

He urged residents of the state to go ahead and have transactions with the old naira notes in the banks for commercial purposes.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who gave the directive in a letter he wrote and addressed to Lagosians yesterday said his directive on collection of the old Naira note is based on the Supreme Court verdict, which extends the validity of the notes to December 31, 2023 and the Bankers Committee's directive to the commercial banks during its meeting on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who expressed his displeasure at the difficulties and pains Lagosians are currently facing over the Naira redesign issues, emphasised that Lagos State government will sanction any business that fails to collect the old notes.

He told Lagos residents to lodge complaints against any bank that refuses to accept deposits of old notes to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA).

The statement reads in part: "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. 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."

Governor Sanwo-Olu warned that: "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 (N200, N500 and N1,000) as well as the new notes."

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