The Kogi State government has threatened to close banks, arrest and prosecute anyone rejecting the old naira notes for transactions in the state.
This was disclosed in Lokoja on Friday in a statement signed by Kingsley Femi Fanwo, the Commissioner for Information and Communications.The state government directed that those rejecting old notes for business transactions in the state should be reported to the security and government authorities for immediate action.
Also, the state government vowed to seal banks that refused to accept old naira deposits, saying: “The state government will not accommodate financial institutions that willfully disobey court orders, moreso, the orders of the highest court in Nigeria.
“The reason the Kogi State Government joined other state governments in the country to pursue the case to ease the hardship occasioned by the unavailability of the new naira notes, which the court fully granted.
“It is therefore unacceptable that some persons and businesses will continue to reject the use of the old naira notes, even after the court judgement validating their use.
“Rejecting the old naira notes is a clear disobedience of the Supreme Court ruling. Anyone who rejects the old naira notes should be reported to security and government authorities for immediate action,” the statement added.
The state ggovernment described the court judgement as a welcome development.
“What this means is that both the old and new naira notes can be accepted for the purpose of transacting business till the end of this year.
“Kogites should note that since the banks are issuing the old naira notes, they are bound to also receive it.
“We cannot continue to kill our economy after the Supreme Court has granted us freedom,” it said.Meanwhile, the state government has set up a high-powered Committee to ensure full adherence and compliance to the ruling of the Supreme Court in the state.
Members of the committee include Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning; Commissioner for Information and Communications; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry; the State Security Adviser and the Managing Director and Kogi Enterprise Development Agency.
According to the statement, “the committee is to ensure that our people take full benefits of the Supreme Court ruling on the old naira notes and ease the hardship they have been subjected to by the policy that brought so much hardship to the people”.