The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied reports that it has given deposit money banks permission to collect old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
According to CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications Osita Nwanisobi’s statement on Friday, the apex bank is only reissuing and recirculating old N200 banknotes, which are expected to circulate as legal tender until April 10, 2023, in accordance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.
The CBN advised the public to disregard any message and/or information on this subject that had not been formally released by the bank.
It also advised journalists to seek confirmation from reliable sources before publishing any information.
Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, directed the CBN to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days.
However, he stated that old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.
The President also apologized to Nigerians for the difficulties encountered in implementing the naira redesign policy.
Meanwhile, his directive has elicited mixed reactions, with some opposing it and others supporting it.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, called it a step in the right direction, but said it falls short of the Supreme Court’s order that the old currencies remain legal tender pending the outcome of a pending suit brought by state governments challenging the policy’s legality and implementation.
In addition, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai slammed the President’s directive, calling it a total disregard for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter.
Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, a human rights activist, supported Buhari on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Thursday.
According to Odinkalu, Nigerians are prepared to suffer the consequences of cash scarcity caused by the CBN’s naira redesign policy for a long time.
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