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CBN directs banks to comply with Supreme Court’s ruling on old N200, N500, N1,000 notes

Exactly ten days after the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has directed Deposit Money Banks, DBMs, to comply with the ruling.

The directive, which was conveyed in a memo, late Monday, by the bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, comes as allegations swelled against the apex bank that it was operating in defiance of the court’s decision.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday stated that CBN had no reason not to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the naira redesign policy.

“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 judgement 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,” CBN’s memo read.

Recall that the Supreme Court had faulted the apex bank’s implementation of the naira redesign policy, describing it as an affront on the 1999 constitution of the country.

The ruling, which was read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, followed a suit filed by Kogi, Kaduna, and Zamfara state governors along with 10 other states, challenging federal government’s deadline to phase out old notes.

According to the states, the CBN policy is imposing a lot of hardship on Nigerians and insisted that the ten-day extension by the federal government was still insufficient to address the challenges of Nigerians swapping their old Naira notes for new ones.

The court therefore extended the validity of the old naira notes till December 31, 2023, putting an end to the debate and economic crisis that greeted the policy.

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