Commercial banks in the country have begun to accept the old Naira notes brought to them as cash deposits by their customers after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) authorised this.
The CBN issued a statement on Monday night directing deposit money banks (DMBs) to accept and dispense the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes until December 31, 2023.
The supreme court on March 3, 2023, ordered the federal government to extend the validity of the old currency notes till the end of the year, upturning the February 10, 2023, deadline of the apex bank.
However, after the apex court’s ruling, commercial banks failed to adhere to the directive, and this was fuelling anger in the country until the presidency, in a statement on Monday, said the CBN and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had no reason to disobey the court.
Some hours later, the central bank released a statement to direct banks to dispense and accept the old currency notes.
“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,” Mr Abdulmunin said.
“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.
“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly,” the statement signed the spokesman of the bank, Mr Isa Abdulmumin, said.
On Tuesday morning, Business Post visited some commercial banks in Lagos, and it was observed that the old notes were being dispensed and accepted by the lenders.
However, the maximum amount of cash given to customers via ATMs and over-the-counter remains N10,000 per person.
But some customers who spoke with this reporter said they were happy things would soon return to normal.
“We hope that this new development will reduce the tension; we have suffered enough,” one of them, who identified herself as Mrs Tijani, said.
However, another customer, Mr Sunday Awosanya, queried what the CBN achieved with this cash swap policy that brought the economy to its knees.
“My question is, what did [Godwin] Emefiele (the CBN Governor) achieve with this policy?” he asked.
Source: Business Post