- Isa Abdulmumin, the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) Acting Director, Public Communications Department, has said the old and new naira notes are now legal tenders.
- Although the CBN is yet to issue a statement, Abdulmumin assures Nigerians that they can start spending old naira notes.
- Most traders are yet to start accepting old naira notes.
According to the reports, a Zenith Bank branch in Festac Town, Lagos, paid customers old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes over the counter. Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank branches also did the same in Abuja. Some banks also loaded their automated teller machines (ATMs) with old naira currencies.
A bank official told the news outlet that "CBN has approved it for circulation till December 31, and that's why we can dispense it to our customers,"
CBN's Abdulmumin also said, "banks are paying old notes as well as new notes. They are all legal tender."
Although the CBN is yet to make an official statement concerning the issue, Adulmumin reassures Nigerians to receive the old naira notes when they are given.
In line with Supreme Court's directive
The extension of the validity of old naira notes is in line with the Supreme Court's directive on March 3, 2023.
A seven-member court panel directed the CBN to extend the old ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 notes' validity until December 31, 2023. The panel led by John Okoro said President Buhari's withdrawal of old naira notes from the system without due consultation was invalid.
The Supreme Court made a similar ruling on February 15, 2023. However, President Buhari, on Thursday, February 16, 2023, overruled the court's order by instructing the CBN to recirculate the old N200 until April 10, while the old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes remain unusable as legal tenders in Nigeria.
Emmanuel Agim, one of the Supreme Court panel members, said the president's move to overrule the court's directive was undemocratic.
Meanwhile, even as CBN's Abdulmumin assures Nigerians that the apex bank has approved the old naira notes as legal tender, many traders are yet to accept the notes.