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Ekiti Government Threatens to Arrest Traders Rejecting Old Naira Notes

Meanwhile the Bayelsa government has called for calm over the cash crunch.

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has threatened to arrest and prosecute traders and service providers who reject the old denominations of N500 and N1,000 notes.
This is as the Bayelsa State Government on Saturday called for calm, following the pains of residents of the state due to the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) naira redesign policy and the Supreme Court ruling on the old N200, N500 and N1000 currency notes.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, and made available to journalists yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Oyebanji appealed to traders and business owners in the state to stop creating hardship for the residents.
The governor explained that the old N500 and N1,000 denominations remained legal tender by the ruling of the Supreme Court, which extended its validity date till December 31.
Oyebanji said that his office had been inundated with the outcry of the people due to the hardship being faced as a result of the low circulation of the newly redesigned Naira notes.
He said the Supreme Court had, by its March 3 ruling, extended the validity date for the old naira notes in a case instituted by some states, including Ekiti.

Oyebanji said that the state’s refusal of many business owners to accept the old naira notes for transactions was unlawful.
“This is an appeal to all residents of Ekiti to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court, which has provided a reprieve for the people by extending the validity date of the old naira notes till December 31.
“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.
“Government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners found rejecting the old naira notes,” the statement quoted Oyebanji.
He, however, assured that his administration would continue to explore avenues to make life more meaningful for the people as it continues to build a more prosperous state.

Therefore, the governor appealed to the market women and men, artisans, transporters, filling stations, supermarket owners, school proprietors, and service providers to remain law abiding and accept the old naira notes.
He also urged the commercial banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the old and new currencies available in their branches and at their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to ease the stress residents go through to get money for their daily and commercial needs.
Meanwhile, following the cash crunch being experienced in Bayelsa State, the state government has called for calm due to the cash crunch.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Hon. Ayibaina Duba, urged residents to be calm and not engage in acts that could jeopardise the peace of the state.

“The government notes that on March 3, the Supreme Court ruled that the old notes, which had been phased out by the CBN, remain legal tender till December 31 this year.
“While the state government is not against the naira redesign policy of the CBN or the federal government, it is however not comfortable with the method of its implementation that has resulted in further hardship on people of the state and, indeed, the country.
“The government, therefore, urges business operators in the state, particularly banks, traders and keke (tricycle) to take into consideration the Supreme Court ruling in order to reduce the pains of people of the state.

“The government also calls on the CBN to take immediate steps to ease the burden of doing business in the state by making implementation of the policy less cumbersome”, the statement added.

Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa