By Oki Samson
Right beside the seat of power of Lagos, comprising the Lagos Governor’s Office, Lagos House of Assembly, and the Lagos State Secretariat, an irresponsible act which is causing untold hardship on Lagosians is happening.
Trek Africa Newspaper witnessed how the popular Shoprite mall inside Ikeja City Mall is rejecting old naira notes as payment for goods bought by customers.
This is days after the Supreme Court has ruled that the Central Bank of Nigeria should discontinue the deadline on collection of old naira notes and the National Council of State has asked CBN to roll out more new notes while not stopping old naira notes in circulation.
Yet, Shoprite is acting above the law. Pregnant women, men with their children, youths, after standing on a long queue to pay for goods get to the teller and to their greatest shock are told that they do not collect old notes and therefore the goods they have taken time to pick should be returned to the shelf. Such an embarrassment!
Such a disappointment! Such a rowdy session to behold as some customers in anger threaten to beat up the tellers… And that right beside the Lagos seat of power!
From reports, Trek Africa Newspaper can reliably gather that Shoprite is not the only big mall engaged in this malfeasance but that this one is very close to the seat of power and nothing has been done is of greater worry.
If Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his team at Lagos State Government does not stop Shoprite Alausa from this inhumane and unlawful action immediately and allow this issue to fester, it would not be a surprise if that place becomes a center of riot akin to the EndSARS experience of 2020.
God forbid! May government take a swift action on the management of Shoprite!
When asked about the issue, the staff of Shoprite says they are acting upon an order from above. Where is the above, they cannot disclose. Yet their customers are groaning terribly.
An elderly woman told Trek Africa Newspaper, ‘I have old money with me. Why this trouble things they are doing to us.
After spending one hour here only to tell me I can’t take anything home is terrible. I want Sanwo-Olu to intervene.’
Another customer who pleaded anonymity remarked: ‘Government is next door. The new notes are scarce.
I have come here from far distance to buy here only to be shocked that they won’t collect the money I have. I am just depressed. This is pathetic.’
A young customer who simply wants to be mentioned as Olaitan said: ‘A lot of this big supermarkets are doing the same thing. Coldstone is doing the same thing.
They are disobeying the law. Emefiele caused all this confusion, he need to be sacked.
I think EFCC should come and arrest this people. But the government is just taking us for a ride, if you come here tomorrow the same thing will still happen.
I expect Gov. Sanwo-Olu to take immediate action and prevail on Shoprite.’
It is important for Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to prevail on Shoprite Alausa, Coldstone, and all other big supermarkets and eateries in Lagos to desist from this deliberate act of disobedience.
It is only two weeks to the elections. It is important that the peace in Lagos is not disrupted.