Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Supreme Court Ruling: Business operators anxious to hear from Buhari, Emefiele before accepting old naira notes

A petty trader, Madam Uloma, also said she wouldn’t accept the old notes, saying, “until I hear from the horse’s mouth, I will not collect the old notes”.

• March 5, 2023
Old Naira Notes
Old Naira Notes used to illustrate the story

Business operators in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja say they are anxious to hear from President Muhammadu Buhari and/or the Central Bank over the validity of old naira notes.

The business operators were reacting to the Supreme Court ruling that the old N500 and N1000 notes remained legal tender till December 31.

They, however, said it was risky to accept the notes until a directive from either the Presidency or the CBN.

A taxi driver, Abubakar Umar, said he was hopeful that Mr Buhari or the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, would speak within the week on whether or not they should go ahead and accept those old notes.

He said until such a directive was given, he would insist that customers paid him only with new N500 or N1000 notes.

A petty trader, Madam Uloma, also said she wouldn’t accept the old notes, saying, “until I hear from the horse’s mouth, I will not collect the old notes”.

Ms Uloma said she would not want to go through the stress she went through when the notes were declared invalid by the CBN.

A resident, Fred Oyibo, said he was excited when the pronouncement validating the use of the old notes was made by the Supreme Court.

Mr Oyibo, however, expressed disappointment that he could not use the old notes he had, adding that business operators are still rejecting them despite the ruling.

“I have about N3000 of the old N1000 notes with me, and I felt elated when the court gave the ruling, but to my dismay, the money was rejected when I went out to buy a few items.

“I further tried to educate them that once the Supreme Court gives a ruling, everyone was bound by it, but they insisted on hearing from the Executive before taking any action,” he said.

Following the redesigning of N200, N500 and N1,000 notes by the CBN on January 31 was announced as the deadline for using the old notes.

The January 31 deadline was, however, met with protests from Nigerians, forcing the CBN to extend the deadline to February 10.

The extension was equally met with outrage, leading to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that the old N200 note should be used alongside the redesigned one for a while.

Meanwhile, governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States had approached the Supreme Court on February 3, requesting that the extension is beyond February 10 as announced by the CBN.

Following the suit, a seven-member panel of the apex court, led by John Okoro, gave the order suspending the February 10 deadline till February 15, when the suit would be determined.

The case was, however, not determined on February 15 as it was adjourned till February 22 and subsequently to March 3, when judgement was delivered.

In the judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that all the old denominations, including the N500 and N1000 notes, remained valid till December 31.


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