Uncertainty as new naira notes remain scarce after CBN deadline
Due to the limited availability of the newly redesigned Naira notes, Nigerians have continued to encounter difficulties with their financial transactions.
This is because the old notes’ deadline of February 10 to become legal tender has passed on Friday.
Stakeholders all over Nigeria, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, are having difficulty accessing the new Naira notes.
Nigerians who still have the old Naira notes are stranded because traders and other small business owners across the country have stopped accepting them.
This is despite a decision from the Supreme Court urging the Federal Government to accept the old notes as legal tender until February 15.
The Supreme Court ruled on a lawsuit filed by the governors of the states of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara to halt the Naira redesign policy.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court issued an interim injunction preventing the Federal Government from implementing the CBN’s February 10 deadline for replacing the old naira notes with new ones.
Mr. Okechukwu Unegbu, a financial expert, urged the government to follow the ruling.
According to Unegbu, a former President of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Nigerians should not panic.
He stated that whenever old Naira notes are presented, the law requires the CBN to exchange them for new ones.
He added that the Naira redesign policy and currency swap were intended to be long-term projects and urged the apex bank to follow the provisions of the act that established it.
“The President ought to direct the governor of the CBN to continue until the matter is considered by the Supreme Court on Feb. 15.
He stated, “The apex bank should also obey Section 20 of the CBN Act, which provides that it should continue to accept the old notes for swap, even when they cease to be legal tender.” This provision was made in accordance with the CBN Act.
In the meantime, on Friday, the National Council of State urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately distribute sufficient new Naira notes to Nigerians or to resort to the circulation of old notes.
The council, however, declared its support for the Naira redesign policy upon rising from a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It stated that the CBN needed to make sure that the system had enough Naira notes.
In addition, the CBN has promised Nigerians that it will be able to meet the demand for Naira in the country.
It denied a widely circulated Internet report that the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) was experiencing difficulties that contributed to the shortage of Naira.
Osita Nwanisobi, Director of the CBN’s Corporate Communications Department, stated in a statement that the apex bank never made such a disclosure.
“The NSPMC was working on printing denominations of the Naira to meet Nigerians’ transaction needs,” the CBN governor told the National Council of State meeting.
“The CBN remains committed to carrying out its monetary policy function in accordance with the CBN Act, for the avoidance of doubt.”
He continued, “We also wish to reiterate that the NSPMC has the capacity and sufficient materials to print the necessary indent of the Naira.”
He stated that the apex bank was diligently attempting to expand the country’s circulation of new notes.
In a similar vein, the NSPMC also stated that it was able to produce and distribute sufficient quantities of the new notes.
Ahmed Halilu, the company’s managing director, said in a statement that NSPMC has made enough preparations to keep producing banknotes with new designs and other denominations that match the CBN’s plan for the year.