To stem the hardship faced by residents arising from cash scarcity, the Ondo State Government on Monday held a meeting with representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Commercial Banks in the state.
The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, at the meeting in Akure, said that the cash crunch had affected the economic lives of people in Ondo State.
Aiyedatiwa said the redesigned monetary policy, which was not well implemented, forced the state government to join the suit against the CBN at the Supreme Court to ameliorate the hardship faced by the people.
The deputy governor said the security and welfare of its people was important and paramount and therefore necessitated the meeting to prevent the issue from degenerating to chaos and anarchy in the state.
Aiyedatiwa said it was now an offence to reject the old N500 and N1000 notes in the state after the supreme court had pronounced it as a legal tender till Dec. 31.
“We appeal to the people of Ondo State and various stakeholders on the need to comply with the ruling of the highest court of the land, the supreme court, as regards acceptance of the old Naira notes.
“Members of the public need to comply, the banks, the market women, everybody need to comply, so that living can be comfortable for everybody.
“We have decided to have a discussion with the bankers on the cause of the problem of not accepting the old notes from the people.
“We need to hear from you, we can’t be pleading with the public and the banks are not complying,” he said.
The CBN Head of Banking Services, Kennedy Nwannunu, said that commercial banks were still receiving and giving out the old Naira notes.
“Deposit money banks are still receiving and paying out the old naira note in line with the Supreme Court judgment. CBN has not given further directives to stop receiving or to stop paying.
“CBN has stopped even receiving the old Naira notes from deposit banks,” he said.
Nwannunu, however, decried the case of people taking money from commercial banks and not returning it to the deposit banks, stressing that this was not how the banking system works.
The representatives of commercial banks, who took turns to speak at the event, said that the CBN should make the cash more available to them to dispense to the public. (NAN)