Traders, banks and residents in Lagos still refusing to accept the old N500 and N1000 notes as legal tender will have to watch their backs.
This is because the State Governor Babajide SanwoOlu has vowed to sanction any individual or business that fails to accept the old notes as means of buying and selling in the state.
The governor issued the threat on Monday, March 13, following the CBN official compliance with the Supreme Court judgement, that extended the validity period of the old N200, N500, and N1000 until December 31, 2024.
Governor SanwoOlu urged Lagosians to file complaint against any individual, bank, or trader, who refused to accept the old notes, with the State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA, via the following numbers: 08124993895, 09064323154, 08092509777.
His words: “My dear Lagosians, I have noted the difficulties that you have been having over the naira redesign crisis. I feel your pains.
“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.
“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.
“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.”