Central Bank of Nigeria Orders Banks to Accept Old Naira Notes as Legal Tender Until December 31
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally complied with a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the use of old N500 and N1000 notes as legal tender until December 31, 2023. In a statement released by the Acting Director Corporate Communications Department, Dr Isa Abdulmumin, the CBN also directed that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. The move comes after pressure from the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigeria Labour Congress, and state governments involved in the suit.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision following a meeting with the Bankers’ Committee held on Sunday. The decision has put an end to the confusion over the legality of the old naira notes and is expected to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians who have faced severe hardships over the scarcity of new naira notes amid the controversial ban on the old notes.
The Supreme Court had in its March 3 judgment extended the legal tender status of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes until December 31, but the AGF and the CBN Governor initially refused to comply with the order despite pressure from Nigerians. The Supreme Court held that President Muhammadu Buhari breached the constitution in the manner he issued directives for the naira notes.
With the CBN’s latest directive, commercial banks are now expected to accept the old naira notes as legal tender until the end of the year. The move is seen as a positive development for Nigerians who have been struggling with a cash crunch due to the naira redesign policy.