The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally authorised the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to remain a legal tender till December 31, 2023; succumbing to the order by the Supreme Court judgment on March 3, 2023.

Isa AbdulMumin, the acting director of corporate communications for the CBN, confirmed this event in an official statement released today, stating that the validity date complied with the Supreme Court’s directive.

“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterised the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operation of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) 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 N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 13, 2023,” AbdulMumin stated.

Prior to this official announcement, the governor of Anambra State, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, claimed on his official Facebook page that the current governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, had informed him over the phone that he had ordered commercial banks to dispense the old currency notes and also accept same-as-cash deposits from customers as a result of a Bankers Committee meeting on March 12, 2023.

The presidency, as a confirmation to Soludo’s admission,  has instructed CBN in a formal statement released earlier today and signed by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, to abide by the Supreme Court’s order by extending the validity of the old notes.

However, several media agencies have published a number of papers that showed how businesses and economic activities have been negatively impacted by the apex bank’s currency reform strategy; also urging the CBN to save the economy.

The CBN initially set January 31, 2023 as the deadline for the old notes to be rendered unusable as legal tender. The new notes were then introduced into the system on December 15, 2022.

The CBN had listed the determination to support Nigeria’s cashless economy as one of the justifications for its decision to redesign the naira.

Nonetheless, the approach has caused so much suffering to families, localities, and companies because the new notes have continued to be in short supply.




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