The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country to recirculate the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
CBN’s Ag. Director, Corporate Communication, Isa AbdulMumin announced this in a statement on Monday, March 13, 2023.
The apex bank noted that “in compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court judgement of
March 3, 2023”.
It said, it met with “the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.
“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly”, it said.
Recall, the Supreme Court of Nigeria recently extended the validity of old Naira Notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 to December 31, 2023.
This was after the CBN’s announcement that the old notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 ceased to be legal tender after February 10, 2023, consequently, could no longer be used for any form of transaction in the country.
TheFact Daily Reported that the earlier ruling of the apex court on the matter was jettisoned by President Muhammad who believes that the Cashless policy and Naira re-design policy was intended to reduce the high rate of inflation in Nigeria and vote buying during the 2023 general elections.
Buhari in a National Broadcast on Thursday, February 16, 2023, approved only the use of old N200 notes side-by-side with the new Naira Notes.
The President said, “to further ease the supply pressures, particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023, to April 10, 2023, when the old N200 notes cease to be legal tender.”
However, the Supreme Court in its lead judgement read by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim on Thursday, March 3, 2023, said, the policy was an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
The court said, the Federal Government breached the Constitution in issuing directives for the re-designing of the Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It further faulted the President for failing to consult the National Council of States, Federal Executive Council (FEC), the National Economic Council (NEC) and other stakeholders before directing the Central Bank of Nigeria to unlawfully introduce new Naira notes.
Consequently, the court extended the validity of the old naira notes to December 31, 2023.