CBN Directs Commercial Banks to Accept, Pay Out Old N500, N1,000 Notes


Apex bank needs no presidential directive to comply with Supreme Court order, says president

Insists president has never done anything to obstruct course of justice

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, directed commercial banks and other financial institutions in the country to continue to accept and pay out the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes till December 31, 2023, in line with a recent Supreme Court ruling.

In a statement signed by CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Dr. Isa Abdulmumin, the central bank disclosed that it had met with the Bankers’ Committee and directed that the old banknotes remained legal tender alongside the redesigned notes.

But in apparent reaction to public unease over the federal government’s long silence and delayed response to the March 3 Supreme Court ruling on the currency redesign, the presidency yesterday said the CBN did not need a further directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to comply with the apex court’s order. The presidency said this in a statement by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Relatedly, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, gave the federal government one-week ultimatum to resolve the present scarcity of both the naira and petrol, which had caused untold hardship to the masses, or face a nationwide workers strike.

Furthermore, the president’s spokesman noted that the negative campaign and personalised attacks against the president by the opposition and all manner of commentators were unfair and unjust, as no court order at any level had been issued or directed at him.

The statement said further, “As for the cashless system the CBN is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy, as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the president 

“It is, therefore, wide off the mark to blame the president for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement. The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the president.”

Buhari also rejected the impression that he lacked compassion, saying, “No government in our recent history has introduced policies to help economically marginalised and vulnerable groups like the present administration.”

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