Naira Scarcity: Confusion As Swap Deadline For The New Naira Is Today

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nigerians kept counting down to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) deadline of February 10 for the termination of the old naira notes’ status as legal cash in the nation.

The CBN had stated that the objectives of its Naira redesign policy were to combat vote buying and instability by October 2022.

However, since it was announced that the new notes would begin to be used starting on December 15, 2022, Nigerians and businesses have had trouble exchanging their old notes for the new ones.

Since the change, the country has been experiencing a cash shortage due to many banks’ inability to dispense the new notes over the counter and at their ATM locations.

But on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, the Supreme Court postponed the CBN’s plan to stop using the new notes as legal money by February 10, 2023, days after the governments of Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi state sued the CBN over its naira redesign strategy.

A visit to the apex bank’s website 24 hours after the S Court ruling revealed that the countdown clock to the deadline is still running.

Current series N200, N500, and N1000 notes are still valid as of the deadline of February 10, 2023, according to a message on the website.

The bank also recommended that Nigerians deposit their old notes at authorized financial touchpoints in the notice. President Muhammadu Buhari and Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele met at the State House in Abuja on Thursday after the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday.

However, the meeting’s specifics have not yet been made public. In response to the development, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, interim chairman of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), explained why the CBN must abide by the Supreme Court’s order regarding the currency swap issue in his most recent statement.

In his statement on Thursday, Falana claimed that the rumors that the CBN has opted not to abide by the orders of the supreme court made him come out urgently. The Senior Advocate claims that such a move by the CBN will amount to nothing more than a blatant disdain for the law.

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