The two-month-old Naira crisis in Nigeria was finally put to an end on Monday when both the Presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, bowed to public pressure.
A few hours after the presidency exonerated itself of responsibility, the central bank gave commercial banks the go-ahead to start accepting the N200, N500, and N1000 old naira notes as lawful cash in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision from March 3.
This occurred roughly 24 hours before the deadline set by certain state governors, after which they threatened to bring contempt proceedings against the CBN and the federation’s attorney general.
In a statement released Monday night, Dr. Isa Abdulmumin, the bank’s acting director of corporate communications, detailed the apex’s judgment.
The statement further stated that the old naira notes would continue to be valid until December 31, 2023.
Only a few hours prior to the CBN’s decision, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria had no justification for defying the Supreme Court’s order over the redesign of the naira.
This was revealed on Monday by Shehu Garba, Buhari’s senior special assistant for media and publicity.
Remember how the top court in Nigeria decided in the first week of March that the old Naira notes may still be accepted until December 31.
After the verdict, the CBN and the federal government remained silent for ten days. Due to the economic uncertainties caused by this circumstance, traders and commercial banks rejected the old notes.
Earlier, Prof Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra state, posted on his social media accounts that the CBN had ordered commercial banks to accept and dispense old naira notes.
Governor Soludo is not acting alone; the governors of Lagos and other states have also taken action to uphold the legitimacy of the old Naira notes.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared on his verified Twitter accounts that commercial banks had been ordered to collect the old naira notes and that defaulters would face penalty.
The Director of the Centre for the Development of Private Business, Dr. Muda Yusuf, commented on the CBN’s decision to order commercial banks to dispense and accept the old naira notes and said that the move would repair Nigeria’s damaged economy.
According to Yusuf, for there to be widespread compliance, the apex bank must make the news of the development known to all Nigerians, even those in rural areas.
“Well, we thank God that eventually, they bowed to pressure.
“At this point, it is crucial that the apex bank effectively publicize the fact that the naira notes are legal money.
“Because the old notes are accepted as lawful currency, anyone depositing them should stop requesting codes.
“Things will start to improve as soon as cash keeps flowing; this is also a call to CBN to guarantee that more new currencies are created so that they progressively withdraw the old notes,” the statement reads.”