As the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for exchanging old naira notes for new notes expires today, confusion shows up everywhere.
This comes just days after the Supreme Court ruled that the deadline should be postponed until the determination of a case filed by the governors of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara States.
The case is scheduled to be heard by the CBN on February 15. However, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), declared on Wednesday that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction in this matter.
As the CBN remains silent on the Supreme Court ruling, commercial banks in the country are left in a state of uncertainty as to whether the old N1000, N500, and N200 notes will cease to be legal tender by today (Friday).
According to anonymous bank executives who spoke with Punch, they are unable to confirm if the Friday deadline still holds.
A top personnel of Access Bank said, “I cannot say yes or no. You know there is a court judgment so for now, there is a Supreme Court judgment and we have not received any further communication from the CBN on it.”
A top source of Ecobank speaking on the deadline set by the CBN also said, “We don’t know what will happen yet. You know the deadline is Friday (today), so we will still collect old naira notes on Friday but after that, we don’t know what will happen.”
A top management personnel of Zenith Bank who spoke on the compelling issue on condition of anonymity said, “As it is now, Friday is the deadline but there is a Supreme Court judgment so, we don’t know what will happen. For now, there is no new circular from the CBN that there will be any extension.”
As a result of the confusion surrounding the deadline for exchanging old naira notes for new notes, some banks in Nigeria have had to close due to attacks from dissatisfied citizens who have been affected by the scarcity of naira.
The shutdown of banks has also led to the closure of Point of Sale (POS) operations, as these businesses have been left without access to the funds necessary for their daily operations.
CBN Distributing Limited Volume Of Cash To Banks Some bankers revealed that the CBN are distributing a limited volume of cash to banks, adding that Nigerians have refused to bring in their old notes.
Limited distribution of cash by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Some bank officials have reported that CBN are distributing a very little volume of cash to banks, and also that Nigerians have refused to bring in their old notes.
One of the banker personnel said, “The CBN is hoarding supply to branches. They refused to release the new naira notes. Old lower denominations are what they are giving banks now but in low quantity.”
Another banker said, “Cash is limited. We know it’s all about financial inclusion but if people are unable to use their account for its original purpose and they want us to go all tech, there will be issues. Regarding cash supply, there’s more that CBN can do.”
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