Ekiti Assembly passes resolution on PoS operations

From Taofeek Surdiq, Ado-Ekit

Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Akintunde Oyebode, to set machinery in motion to regulate the activities of Point of Sale (POS) operators with a view to saving the people of the state from exploitation and exorbitant charges imposed on them.


The house, during the preliminary urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to obey the Supreme Court ruling to allow the old and new N500 and N1,000 notes to be in circulation until the suit before the apex court is determined.


The plenary presided over by the Speaker, Olubunmi Adelugba, appealed to the people of the state to remain calm in the face of hardship they are going through over the scarcity of new notes urging them not to be provoked into engaging in activities that could lead to breakdown of law and order.


Expressing their concerns and worries on the suffering of the people of the state on the scarcity of the new Naira notes, the Ekiti lawmakers urged the federal authorities and the apex bank to obey the rule of law as enunciated by the Supreme Court ruling to bring relief to the beleaguered masses.


The motion calling on the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to make the Naira notes available was moved by the lawmaker representing Ekiti East Constituency 2, Mr Lateef Akanle and seconded by the lawmaker representing Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 1, Mr. Femi Akindele.


In his lead debate, Akanle, who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, said nobody in Nigeria can pretend that all is well with the present situation of the country which he described as “precarious.”


Akanle regretted that the cash crunch has added to the hardship of Nigerians and the people of Ekiti State whom he said now keep vigil at banks for hours and days in a bid to access their personal money.


Seconding the motion, Akindele who regretted that nobody envisaged that Nigerians and the people of Ekiti State would be going through what he described as “unwarranted hardship,” lamented a situation in which customers are now made to pay exorbitant charges to POS operators to withdraw their money.


Akindele who charged banks operating in the state to ensure availability of Naira notes to their customers for them to meet their basic needs and facilitate vibrant commercial activities said all hands must be on deck to bring relief to the suffering masses.


Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Speaker,  Hakeem Jamiu, commended Governor Oyebanji for ensuring that Ekiti State joined the suit filed by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States against the Federal Government on the new Naira policy at the Supreme Court accusing the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele of misleading President Buhari on the policy.


Jamiu who represents Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 2 noted that “it is good to go cashless but the timing is very wrong moreso coming at a time Nigerians are still battling with the scarcity of petrol.” He expressed regrets that the whole country has been gripped with tension on account of the development.


The Assembly Chief Whip, Adeoye Aribasoye, regretted that the scarcity of new Naira notes had given rise to more insecurity and shortage of food in the land coming at a time the country was recovering from the challenges of COVID-19.


Aribasoye, who represents Ikole Constituency 2, called on President Buhari to set a good example by complying with the ruling of the Supreme Court to allow the old and new Naira notes to be in circulation pending the determination of the suit.


He said: “By virtue of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act, the onus rests on Mr. President; he is the one that can approve (the policy) and the highest court in the land had spoken. The President should set an example by obeying the rule of law because the suffering Nigerians are going through can lead to unimaginable catastrophe.”


The Speaker, Adelugba, in her remarks, while showing her empathy on the present situation on the currency crisis, urged the people of Ekiti State to be calm and not to be forced to take the law into their hands.


She said: “I want to express my deep regret on what is happening in our country. All we can say is that this season shall pass; our people should be calm, our people should not be pushed to the extent of fomenting trouble.


“I want to urge the CBN and the banks to make both the old and new notes available to our people to douse the tension in the land.”


Earlier at the plenary, the Speaker had read a letter from Governor Oyebanji nominating Justice Abodunde, as the President of the Customary Court of Appeal after which the nominee addressed the lawmakers on her family and professional background before becoming a Judge of the State High Court in 2002.


Lawmakers including Akindele (Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 1), Tajudeen Akingbolu (Ekiti West Constituency 1), Adegoke Olajide (Efon Constituency), Yemisi Ayokunle (Ekiti Southwest Constituency 1) and Aribasoye (Ikole Constituency 2) had attested to the suitability and competence of the nominee for the position and that she should be allowed to take a bow and go.


The motion that the nominee be confirmed as the President of the State Customary Court of Appeal was moved by the Leader of Business, Oyekola Bode-Adeoye (Ekiti West Constituency 2) and was seconded by Ayodeji Ajayi (Ise/Orun Constituency).

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