Following several back and forths, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally confirmed that old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes will remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
The apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, announced this in a statement on Monday.
AbdulMumin stated that the CBN took the decision based on the Supreme Court’s ruling of March 3, 2022.
‘Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.
Read Also: Naira Redesign: Old, New Notes Now Legal Tender – CBN
‘Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly,’ the statement read in part.
The CBN’s statement comes after President Muhammadu Buhari absolved himself of any blame for the failure of the apex bank to obey the highest court in the land.
In another report, the Presidency of Nigeria has asserted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had no reason not to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the naira redesign policy.
It pointed out that at no time did President Muhammadu Buhari directly or indirectly instruct the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to disobey ‘any court orders involving the government and other parties.’
These are contained in a press statement released by the President’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu which was obtained by Africa Today News, New York.
The statement is a reaction to public concerns that Buhari has not reacted to the Supreme Court ruling of March 3 which ordered that the old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes should continue to circulate alongside their redesigned counterparts as legal tender until December 31, 2023.
‘The Presidency wishes to react to some public concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari did not react to the Supreme Court judgement on the issue of the ₦500 and ₦1,000 old currency notes, and states here plainly and clearly that at no time did he instruct the Attorney General and the CBN Governor to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties,’ the statement said.
Shehu stated that the President had never ‘directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed.’
The statement, absolving Buhari of any wrongdoing with regard to compliance with the apex court order on the legality of the old naira notes, said, ‘the Presidency, therefore, wishes to state clearly that President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice. The President is not a micromanager and will not, therefore, stop the Attorney General and the CBN Governor from performing the details of their duties in accordance with the law.’
According to Shehu, however, ‘it is debatable at this time if there is proof of wilful denial by the two of them on the orders of the apex court.’
Shehu added that Buhari’s directive following the meeting of the Council of State was that the apex bank should make available for circulation all the money that was needed ‘and nothing has happened to change the position.’