Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu lamented the state’s shopkeepers and business owners’ rejection of old naira notes on Thursday.
The rejection of the old naira notes, according to Akeredolu, was a gross violation of the law, as stated in a statewide broadcast in Akure.
The governor indicated that rejecting the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes would inflict needless pain on the residents.
“It is essential that I speak to you today because we must put an end to the self-inflicted suffering that is currently plaguing the entire state. This is a result of the old naira notes still being used and circulated in our economy.
“It concerns me much that a significant portion of our state’s population, particularly market vendors, taxi and bus drivers, barbers, auto mechanics, and artisans, are refusing to accept the old naira notes, causing unneeded suffering to their fellow citizens and clients.
“This is regrettable and unanticipated. It is a flagrant violation of the law and instructions from the Central Bank.
“I therefore, want to let you know that it won’t help us to reject the old N1000, N500, and N200 notes.
“It will restrict local commerce and commercial dealings, undermine our economy, and bring about serious harm and avoidable problems for us.
“I hereby use this opportunity to appeal to you all, my good people of Ondo State, to embrace and accept the old notes alongside the new notes as stipulated by law.
“Let us not create needless tension over the matter. Please collect, spend, and exchange the old notes without let or hindrance,” he said.
Akeredolu pointed out that the Supreme Court has definitively resolved the issue of the legitimacy and reinstatement of all old naira notes in the country’s economy.
He claims that the supreme court decided that the old naira notes must continue to be accepted as legal money.
“The Supreme Court’s decision implies that it ends the everyday suffering, agony, and trauma that our country’s citizens have been experiencing as a result of the scarcity of fresh notes.
“It is also designed to ensure the stability, strength, and vibrancy of our economy, particularly the informal economy, which employs the majority of our citizens at the base on a daily basis.
“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, 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 favor of the common man.
” We did this because we believe the fundamental objective of Government must be to see to the welfare and security of the people at all times.
“It is not to inflict or add more to their pains. We believe the people must be happy and free to live their lives legitimately without any pain, discomfort, or trauma,” he added.
The state’s commercial banks were praised by the governor for accepting and disbursing old currency.
He makes a plea to the banks to increase the flow of all available currencies and come up with more efficient ways to clear the banks, particularly at the ATM locations.
Akeredolu asked the state’s media outlets, traditional leaders, and opinion shapers to help the government educate the populace, particularly at the grassroots level, on the need of embracing and accepting the old naira notes.