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Old 500, 1000 naira notes remain legal tender, says Sanwo-Olu

By James Agberebi
13 March 2023   |   12:03 pm
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said old N500 and N1,000 notes remain legal tender and urged Lagosians not to reject them. Sanwo-Olu in a statement by information commissioner Gbenga Omotosho said the controversy around the validity of naira notes has affected a lot of businesses and commercial activities. “The Lagos State Government has noted…

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo/twitter/jidesanwoolu

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said old N500 and N1,000 notes remain legal tender and urged Lagosians not to reject them.

Sanwo-Olu in a statement by information commissioner Gbenga Omotosho said the controversy around the validity of naira notes has affected a lot of businesses and commercial activities.

“The Lagos State Government has noted the hardship sparked by the Naira redesign policy, which has affected business and commercial activities,” Sanwo-Olu said.

President Muhammadu Buhari in February noted that old N500 and N1000 naira notes have ceased to be legal tender.

But a Supreme Court ruling extended the validity of old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes till December 31, 2023.

Despite the ruling, business owners and transporters in parts of the country have continued to reject the old N500 and N1000 notes.

Sanwo-Olu said there should be “no reason to reject the old notes, going by the Supreme Court judgement delivered on March 3, 2023.”

“The apex court declared that “no reasonable notice was given as required by Section 20(3) of the CBN Act,” noting that the public only became aware of the policy through press remarks, which cannot qualify as a notice to the public.

“The court maintained that the policy has impeded the functions of State governments, pointing out that the directive that stops the use of the old notes is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void. It is illegal to reject the notes.”

Sanwo-Olu called on business owners, especially retailers, to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes – in line with the Supreme Court judgement that the currency remains legal tender until December 31, 2023.

“All agencies of the Lagos State Government are advised not to reject payments made with the old currency by the public.”