More than a week after the Supreme Court ruled that old naira notes will remain legal tender, Nigerians can still not access cash even as the CBN is yet to make a statement in response.
On Friday, March 3, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled that old naira notes which had been taken out of circulation remain legal tender until December 31, 2023. However, a quick tour of the city of Lagos by this reporter revealed that most Nigerian businesses had either not heard of the ruling or were waiting for the CBN to issue an official statement before they could accept the old notes.
That has led to an impasse as Nigerians wait for the CBN Governor or President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation.
Last week, TheCable and THISDAY, reported that Isa Abdulmumin, the CBN's Acting Director, Public Communications Department, had encouraged Nigerians to go on transacting with the old naira notes. However, getting the old naira notes remains difficult as neither banks nor PoS agents seem to have any cash to give out.
State governors appear to have taken it upon themselves to enforce the Supreme Court's orders, with Governors Chukwuma Soludo and Babajide Sanwo-Olu directing businesses in Anambra and Lagos States, respectively, to accept the old naira notes.
In a tweet on Monday Morning, Governor Soludo, himself a former governor of the CBN, stated that the CBN Governor had confirmed the apex bank's approval of the use of old naira notes over a phone call while stressing that his government will not only report banks that refuse to accept deposits of old notes but shut them down.
Elsewhere, Punch reports that certain state governors have given the CBN governor until Tuesday, March 14, 2023, to comply with the Supreme Court's orders. Failure to do so will see them file a contempt suit against the CBN Governor and Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation.