Kano Govt shuts down supermarket over refusal to accept old naira notes

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Kano State Government, through the Consumer Protection Council, has shut a popular supermarket, Wellcare, over its refusal to accept old Naira notes.

Speaking to newsmen on Sunday, February 12, the acting chairman of the council, Baffa Babba Danagundi, said the supermarket was shut shortly after Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje gave the order.

According to Danagundi, legal action will be taken against the supermarket.

He said the order of the closure follows the refusal of WellCare Supermarket to accept the old naira notes from customers as against the instruction of the state government.

He warned other marketers in Kano to be aware that the state government has not banned the use of old Naira notes, therefore, any shop caught not receiving the old notes will be dealt with decisively.

Shortly after the closure, Wellcare Alliance Limited wrote a letter of apology to the government, seeking an immediate intervention to re-open the supermarket.

“Due to the federal government policy on the New Naira Notes, we gave wrong instructions to our staff that from the 10th day of February, 2023, only the new approved Naira Notes are to be in circulation.

“On an expansive investigation with our bankers, they declined to receive old Naira Notes on our behalf, unknown to all parties that the state has a policy that the old notes are to be in circulation.

“On this basis, we sincerely apologise for our actions and deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused the state. We humbly plead that our business should be re-opened for deserving members of the public as we undertake to receive old notenotes as valid tender to when the state issues and otherwise directive. Please do accept our regards and sincere apologies,” the letter read.

The Kano State Government had last Thursday February 9, filed a suit against the federal government over the naira redesign.

In a Suit Number: SC/CS/200/2023, the Kano State Attorney General, through his Counsel, Sunusi Musa (SAN) asked the Apex court to declare that the President of Nigeria, cannot unilaterally direct the Central Bank of Nigeria to recall the new N200, N500 and N500 old Bank notes without recourse to the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council, respectively.

Kano state Government prayed a mandatory order seeking for a reversal of the Federal Government policy to recall the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes from circulation, for affecting the economic wellbeing of over 20 million of its citizens.

The Applicant also sought mandatory order, compelling the Federal Government to reverse the Naira redesign policy for alleged failure to comply with 1999 (as amended) constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.