The Eagle

Redesigned Naira: Abuja residents express delight over CBN directive to

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have heaved a sigh of relief following pronouncement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on validity of old N500 and N1,000 notes.

The residents, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja Tuesday, said the pronouncement as well as President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment on the matter had allayed people’s fears.

The CBN had Monday night released a statement in compliance with the Supreme Court Order, saying old N500 and N1,000 notes remain legal tender till December 31.

Yunusa Abdullahi, a businessman, said the statement from the apex bank had laid to rest controversies surrounding acceptance and otherwise of the old notes.

“We were not collecting the old banknotes in spite of Supreme Court Order because we were waiting for either the president or the CBN governor to react.

“We were afraid of accepting the notes because we heard commercial banks were not accepting them.

“Since it is now clear that they have spoken, we will begin to accept them.”

Rosemary, a public servant, said she would go to the market with some old notes in her possession at the close of work.

Rosemary, who told NAN that she had more than N5,000 of the old notes, said the CBN statement was a welcome development.

According to her, it will go a long way in reducing the stress Nigerians have been going through since the implementation of the naira redesigned policy.

“I have about N5,000 of the old notes and I am happy that they are still valid.

“I had gone to the market with the money following Supreme Court ruling but the notes were rejected when I wanted to buy some food stuff in the market.

“So, now that the CBN has given directive, it is a relief to many people,”she said.

Bisi, a mother of three, said the CBN should go beyond the pronouncement, to making the old notes available to Nigerians.

She said if the notes were not made available, the Naira crisis would still linger, adding that “availability of the notes is paramount.”

She said she was looking forward to seeing less queues in banking halls and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) points.

Following the redesigning of N200, N500 and N1,000 notes by the CBN, January 31 was announced as deadline for their use as legal tender.

However, the deadline was met with protests from Nigerians, forcing the apex bank to extend the deadline to February 10.

The extension was equally met with outrage, leading to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that old N200 note should be used alongside the redesigned notes for a period of time.

Meanwhile, governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had approached the Supreme Court on February 3, requesting that the extension should be extended or the entire new monetary policy cancelled outrightly.

Following the suit, a seven-member panel of the apex court, led by John Okoro, gave the order suspending the February 10 deadline till February 15, when the suit would be determined.

Subsequently, other states joined in the suit and the Supreme Court on March 3, ruled that the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes remained legal tender till December 31.

It further ruled that the old Naira notes should be used alongside the redesigned notes.

Controversies, however, trailed the ruling as business operators refused to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes pending directive from the CBN.

The CBN however March 13, 10 days after the ruling, released a statement, re-echoing the Supreme Court ruling that the old notes remain legal tender till December 31.



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