The Governor of Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, has warned residents of the state that the refusal to accept old naira notes as directed by the Supreme Court is a flagrant disobedience to the law and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Governor disclosed this in a broadcast message, explaining that refusal to accept old notes has contributed to the hardships in the state.

He also urged that the Supreme Court judgement implies that it removes the daily pain, discomfort and trauma that people have faced over the past few months.

Reason for the address: Akeredolu said he needed to address residents due to the need to halt a self-induced pain currently being experienced in the state on account of the circulation and use of the old naira notes in our economy. He said:

  • “It is of great concern to me, that a large section of our people in the state, particularly traders in our markets, taxi and bus drivers, barbers, auto mechanics and artisans are rejecting the old naira notes thereby inflicting and sustaining needless pain on their fellow citizens and customers.
  • “This is unfortunate and unexpected. It is a flagrant disobedience to the law and the Central Bank directives. I, therefore, wish to inform you that the rejection of the old N1000, N500 and N200 notes by us will do us no good.
  • ” It will stifle our local trade and business transactions, weaken our economy and cause us great harm and avoidable troubles.”

Appeal to citizens: He appealed to residents to embrace and accept the old notes alongside the new notes as stipulated by law, urging residents not to create needless tension over the matter.

He added that the Supreme Court judgement implies that it removes the daily pain, discomfort and trauma being faced by the people of this country occasioned by the scarcity of the new notes.

  • “It is also geared towards ensuring stability, strength and vitality for our economy, particularly the informal economy which involves, on daily basis, the largest number of our people at the grassroots.
  • “If we may recall from the onset of the Federal Government’s policy of Naira swap, our position as a state, was clear and unambiguous.
  • “We not only condemned the idea and process of implementation of the policy, but we also canvassed for its total abrogation, given its timing and methodology. We insisted on the need for the Federal Government to resolve the introduction of the cashless policy in favour of the common man.”

What you should know: The Supreme Court last week ordered that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.

The apex court also nullified the naira redesign policy introduced by the Federal Government, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.

The ruling came from a seven-member panel led by John Okoro, who unanimously declared that the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the old notes without proper consultation was invalid.

Emmanuel Agim, a member of the panel who read the lead judgment, also condemned the President’s disobedience of the court’s earlier order that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes should continue to circulate alongside the new ones.

Meanwhile, The Central Bank of Nigeria is unable to comply with the recent Supreme Court ruling requiring the reintroduction of the old naira notes due to its inability to obtain the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the court’s judgment.

A report from the News Agency of Nigeria citing an anonymous staff member of the Federal Ministry of Justice stated that the government must obtain the CTC before it can direct the CBN to comply with the judgment. Efforts are reportedly ongoing to obtain the CTC from the Supreme Court.