Ekiti Governor Biodun Oyebanji has stated that businesses that refuse to accept the old N500 and N1000 denominations will be arrested and prosecuted.
Oyebanji made an appeal to traders and business owners in the state to cease making life difficult for citizens in a statement released by his special adviser on media, Mr. Yinka Olubode, and made accessible to newsmen on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti.
The governor clarified that the old N500 and N1000 denominations continued to be lawful money because of a Supreme Court decision that extended their expiration date to December 31.
Oyebanji claimed that his office had received a deluge of complaints from the populace about the hardships brought on by the limited circulation of the newly redesigned Naira notes.
He claimed that in a petition brought by various states, including Ekiti, the Supreme Court had, by its decision on March 3, extended the validity period for the old naira notes.
According to Oyebanji, it is illegal for many business owners in the state to refuse to accept outdated naira notes as payment.
"This is a plea to all Ekiti citizens to comply by the Supreme Court's decision, which has given the populace a reprieve by extending the expiration date of the old naira notes till December 31.
"As honorable people, what is expected of us is to follow the judgement of the top court and keep using the old naira notes as means of payment rather than rejecting it and putting one another through more suffering.
The statement reported Oyebanji as adding, "Government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute company owners discovered rejecting the old naira notes.
He did, however, reassure that as it works to create a more wealthy state, his administration will continue to look for ways to make people's lives more meaningful.
In order to maintain lawfulness and accept the old naira notes, the governor appealed to market vendors, craftsmen, transporters, gas station owners, supermarket owners, school owners, and service providers.
In order to reduce the stress residents experience when trying to collect money for their daily and professional needs, he also asked commercial banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make both old and new currencies available in their branches and at their Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) terminals.
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