BREAKING: CBN bows to pressure, okays Dec 31 old naira notes deadline

Alade Abayomi ADeleke
Alade Abayomi ADeleke
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Cbn itThe Central Bank of Nigeria has said that the old N200, N500, N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.


This announcement was made by the apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, on Monday in a statement, according to Channels TV.


The statement read, “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.”


This development is coming hours after AbdulMumin debunked claims by the Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, that the CBN had ordered banks to receive and dispense old notes.


It also follows the Supreme Court ruling 10 days ago, which gave the order that old naira notes should co-exist with new ones till the end of the year.


The apex court, after 16 states of the Federation instituted a suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy, had on March 3, ordered that old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain valid till December 31, 2023.


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 Supreme 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 mute, 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.


However, the Presidency broke its silence on Monday, stating the President never told the CBN and the AGF not to obey the Supreme Court’s order.

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