New Naira: Confusion Deepens As CBN Deadline Ends Today


Nigerians, especially bank customers, were gripped with confusion and uncertainty over whether today’s deadline by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the phasing out of the old naira notes still remains or it has been suspended following the Supreme Court injunction obtained by some northern governors.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday ruled that the deadline should be suspended pending the determination of the case brought before it by the governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States.

The court has fixed February 15 to entertain the case. However, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, in a response to the suit later on Wednesday, among other things, said the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction on the matter.

However, on Thursday, a day before the deadline, commercial banks in the country and bank customers were thrown into confusion as to whether the old N1000, N500 and N200 would cease to be legal tender by Friday (today) or will retain the status pending when Supreme Court will look into the suit brought before it by the governors.

Several top bank executives, who spoke to The Punch on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorised to speak on the matter, said they could not tell whether the Friday deadline would be enforced.

They hinged their argument on the grounds that the CBN-the banking sector regulator-had yet to give directives to banks.

They also argued that the governors did not join banks in their suit.

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