The Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has threatened to destroy banks that refuse to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes, and build schools in their place.
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The Governor issued a warning to the banks on Friday while he was on an inspection of palliatives meant for distribution to citizens to cushion the effects of the hardship caused by the cashless policy.
“Any bank that refuses to accept old five hundred and one thousand Naira notes will be destroyed. We will not tolerate such disobedience from any financial institution operating within our jurisdiction,” the Governor stated.
He went further to state that the space of the destroyed banks would be used for building schools, which he said will provide quality education for the children.
Ganduje had earlier in the week alleged that the naira redesign policy of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), is a deliberate attempt to truncate Nigeria’s democracy and destroy the party that elected him.
In defending his principal, the Governor’s spokesperson, Abba Anwar stated that the state government has the power to take such measures to protect the interests of the citizens.
“The governor is not making an empty threat. The government has the power to take such measures if it is in the best interest of the people. The governor is determined to ensure that the people of Kano State do not suffer any undue hardship as a result of the cashless policy,” Anwar said.
In a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated the stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria, that the old N500 and N1,000 bank notes has ceased to be legal tender. The President however directed the CBN to re-release the old N200 notes, and allow it to circulate as legal tender alongside the new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes for a period of 60 days.
There was confusion on Friday over the N500 and N1,000 notes. Media reports backed up by letters Deposit Money Banks sent to their customers stated that the banks were accepting deposits of the old N500 and N1,000 notes, while the CBN issued a disclaimer in the later part of the day to deny authorizing banks to accept deposits of the old notes.
The Supreme Court had on 8th February ordered the FG no to effect the implementation of the February 10 deadline of the CBN that will make the old N200, N500 and N1,000 non legal tenders, until it hears the suit instituted by Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi state governments, who were later joined by Niger, Kano, Ondo, and Ekiti, challenging the naira swap policy of the CBN.
On 15th February, the Supreme Court adjourned the suit challenging the naira swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) till Wednesday, February 22 for hearing.
While the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes ceased to be legal tenders, the CBN gave until 17th February for people to deposit all their old notes at the nearest CBN branch to them.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur