Nigeria’s apex bank, CBN, says old N200, N500, N1,000 naira remain legal tender 

By Chioma Obinagwam

Nigeria’s apex monetary authority, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

Confiance News gathered from a statement signed by Isa Abdulmumin, CBN spokesperson on Monday.

“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 ruling of March 3, 2023,” the statement reads.

“Accordingly, the CBN 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.

This is coming hours after the Presidency Monday evening said the CBN had no reason not to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the naira redesign policy.

It stated that President Buhari did not instruct the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to disobey “any court orders involving the government and other parties.”

Two weeks ago, the supreme court invalidated the naira redesign policy introduced by the CBN, citing a defective timing and implementation.

Delivering judgment in a suit instituted by three states of the federation, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until the end of the year.

This was after 16 states of the Federation instituted a suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.

The 16 states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it is inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.

The apex-court subsequently ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari’s disobedience of its February 8 order is a sign of dictatorship, adding that the President breached the Constitution of the Federation in the way he issued directives for the re-designing of the Naira by the CBN.

 

After the March 3 judgement by the Supreme Court, the Presidency, CBN and the AGF kept mum, throwing many bank customers and Nigerians into confusion as the ruling of the apex court contradicted the directive of the President on February 16 that old N500 and N1000 notes are banned and old N200 notes remain valid till April 10.

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