After weeks of disobeying court orders, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally rescinded its hard-line decision which stopped the use of the old N1000, N500 and N200 naira notes alongside new notes, a policy which has sent more Nigerians into poverty as local businesses continue to go into extinction nationwide.
The apex bank in a statement issued by its Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin said the old N200, N500, N1,000 bank notes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.
The U-turn by the CBN follows a statement by the presidency as earlier reported by The New Diplomat Monday, which rebuked the defiant action of CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami over their failure to implementat the Supreme Court ruling which had ordered a remain of status quo till December 31st, 2023.
In the statement issued on Monday, the apex bank now said the development is in compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court.
“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.
“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 New Diplomat reports that the Supreme Court in a judgment on March 3, ordered that old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain valid till December 31, 2023. 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 hardship on innocent Nigerians.