Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which had previously kept silent on the Supreme Court‘s order last Friday directing the continued use of both the old and new naira notes in circulation through December 31, 2023, has broken its silence on the issue.
This statement is coming as a relief as there has been confusion among commercial banks and business operators following the non-issuance of a directive by the CBN on receiving the old N500 and N1,000 notes.
Though CBN has not issued an official statement, a senior management staff quoted by Daily Trust said earlier yesterday, Tuesday, March 8: “Both the old and new notes are legal tender, and banks are currently issuing them to customers. Nigerians should not reject any note, whether old or new.”
The CBN official spoke as more commercial banks across the country commenced dispensing the old N500 and N1,000 notes to their customers. However, some of the banks have contributed to the confusion by rejecting old notes and directing customers to first generate CBN code before attempting to lodge in old notes.
A seven-member panel of justices presided over by Justice Inyang Okoro had described as unconstitutional, President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the CBN for the redesigning and withdrawal of old notes of N200, N500 and N1,000, without consultation with states, Federal Executive Council, the National Council of States, and other stakeholders.