El-Rufai, Ganduje, Abiodun disregard Buhari’s order…
Nigerians have been thrown into a state of confusion by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria and some state governors owing to their conflicting positions on the old and new naira policy.
Punch Metro reported that Buhari on Thursday ordered the CBN to allow the continued use of the old N200 note alongside its newly redesigned counterpart until April 10, 2023, but maintained that N500 and N1000 notes are no longer legal tenders.
AmBusiness reported that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Thursday, after Buhari’s broadcast session, shunned the president’s directive with a counter broadcast by announcing that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes remain legal tenders in his state pending the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Subsequently, the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, on Friday threatened to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of organisations that rejects old naira notes.
This publication recalls that the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje had also said there will be sanctions for organisations that reject the old naira notes.
CBN reportedly bows to pressure, makes u-turn on old N500, N1000 notes
Meanwhile, amid the confusion which led to protests that spiralled into riots on Friday in Ogun, Rivers, and Lagos States, a piece of information circulated in the media around the mid-hours of Friday claiming that the CBN bowed to pressure caused by the riots and ordered commercial banks to collect the N500 and N1000 note, providing the cash is less than 500,000.
The report was confirmed by Tribune Online at the CBN branch in Kogi State during a Friday visit to the banks’ offices in Zone 8 of Lokoja’s Hassan Katsina Road.
Also, some banks confirmed this by admonishing customers to bring their cash starting from Saturday.
The First Bank of Nigeria on their official Twitter page posted regarding the new development on the acceptance of N500 and N1000 in commercial banks.
The now-deleted tweet shared with its 780.5K followers reads, “Please note that deposits of more than N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) should be taken to the nearest CBN location.
“In addition, our branches will be open tomorrow, Saturday 18 February 2023 to receive old notes.”
Subsequently, the United Bank of Africa sent a mail to their customers titled, “We have not stopped collecting old N500 and N1000.” In the email, they described how customers can deposit their old naira notes.
Ecobank also sent a mail to the staff, with the subject “We are still collecting your old N500 and N1000 notes.” They also provide steps for depositing the old notes.
It’s FAKE NEWS, old N500, N1000 remain illegal – CBN
However, the CBN threw Nigerians into a further dilemma on the evening of February 17th by debunking the order. It also said the president’s order on the N200 notes remains legal tender until April 10 while the N500 and N1000 are not.
The CBN’s tweet to its 1.2m followers on its verified Twitter page read, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to some fake and unauthorized messages, quoting the CBN as having authorized the Deposit Money Banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, the CBN has been directed to ONLY re-issue and recirculates the old N200 banknotes and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10.
“Members of the public should, therefore, disregard any message and/or information not formally released by the Central Bank of Nigeria on this subject.
“Media practitioners are advised to PLEASE verify any information from the correct sources before publication.”
As CBN denied the information, a string of reactions from Nigerians who have been left confused by the development spurred on social media.
Reacting to the CBN’s press release, one tweep with the username @kwesigh_ wrote, “Ghana successfully had a Redenomination in 2017 without any scarcity of funds. To think that in 2023 a country like Nigeria is having these challenges is not just disgraceful but appalling. FIX IT!”
@obiagwupaschal said, attaching a screenshot of the email from First Bank. “Where did First Bank get their directives from? Is it from El-rufai ,Ganduje or Yaya Bello.”
Another tweep, @stan_simplicity added, “It was obvious the order came from them, but after a backlash maybe from Sai Baba, they reverted their initial stance. The game is the game. Go make yourself president since you made Buhari President.”