Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling against the plan, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is still counting down to the date of February 10 when the old naira notes will cease to be accepted as legal tender in Nigeria.
Nigerians, who have been unable to exchange their old notes for new ones, have harshly criticized the CBN’s naira redesign policy, which was announced in October 2022 to address vote buying and insecurity.
A cash crisis was caused by the lack of the new N200, N500, and N1000 denominations because many banks were unable to dispense them at their ATM locations and on the counter.
However, days after the Governors of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi state dragged the CBN to court over the naira redesign policy, the Apex Court on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, suspended the move by the CBN to end the use of the new notes as legal tender by February 10, 2023.
Counsel to the applicants, Mr Abdul-Hakeem Mustapha, SAN, had argued that the CBN policy had led to an “excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land.”
Barely 24 hours after the apex court’s judgement, the CBN on its website continues to run a countdown to the deadline.
“Current series of N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal until the deadline 10th February 2023,” a notice on the website reads.
In the notice, the bank also advised Nigerians to deposit their old notes at designated financial touchpoints.
Meanwhile, following the Supreme Court judgement on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele met at the State House, Abuja.
But the details of the meeting are yet to be revealed as Emefiele refused to speak with journalists after the meeting.