Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, declared on Monday that the old naira notes are still legal tender in the state.
In a statement signed by Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Sanwo-Olu urged business owners, particularly merchants, to continue accepting the old N500 and N1,000 notes in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling that they are still valid until December 31, 2023.
Recall that the Federal Government’s initiative to redesign the naira was dismissed by the Supreme Court on the grounds that proper consultation and adherence to constitutional procedures were not followed.
Consequently, the apex court ordered that the old naira notes shall continue to be used side by side with the new naira notes till December 31, 2023.
The Lagos State Government also requested that all of its agencies refrain from rejecting the old notes in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision.
The statement read, “The Lagos State Government has noted the hardship sparked by the naira redesign policy, which has affected business and commercial activities. There is 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.
“I call 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. It is illegal to reject the notes.
“All agencies of the Lagos State Government are advised not to reject payments made with the old currency by the public.”