The nationwide confusion trailing Nigeria’s Naira redesign policy continued yesterday as business owners, retailers and transporters continued to reject the old naira notes despite the Supreme Court’s extension of the validity of the notes to December 31, 2023.
This is coming after Daily Sun findings on Monday revealed that banks across the country resumed dispensing the old N500 and N1,000 notes.
The apex court had on Friday ruled that the old notes remained legal tender in Nigeria till December 31, 2023. But despite this ruling, the Presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have yet to comment on the matter, leaving businesses in quandry.
As of yesterday, a look at the CBN’s website and social media handles showed that the apex bank was yet to make an official announcement on the ruling.
About 16 Nigerian state governors pushed back against the policy, suing the Federal Government, urging the court to put a hold on the policy.
But so far, there has been uncertainty over whether the court had jurisdiction, or whether the CBN, an independent body, should obey the court’s judgment as it was not a party to the suit.
Daily Sun also observed that some banks especially in Lagos metropolis continued to dispense old notes, stressing they got a directive from the apex bank to do so.
Meanwhile long queues remained at various banking halls and automated teller machines (ATMs) as customers continued their search for cash withdrawals.
Some bankers who agreed to speak to Daily Sun on the condition of anonymity said, “We have started paying old notes and that is because we got a mail from the our bank MDs mandating that a directive was issued by the CBN that we can pay these old notes to customers”
A staff of one of the old generation banks, stated, “We have not started paying these old notes to customers because we are yet to get such a directive to do so. However, the ones paying these old notes are the ones that still have the old notes in their vaults. It is not as if the CBN is supplying the notes because they want to mop up these old notes and introduce the new ones”.
According to the CBN data for January 2023, currency outside the vaults of banks stood at N788.92 billion.
As at yesterday, most business owners refused to accept the old notes, stating that the CBN was yet to respond to the Supreme Court ruling Jane Nwando, a businesswoman at Balogun Market, said, “The fact that the CBN and the Presidency are yet to comment makes it all confusing.
So even if custom