Supreme Court suspends CBN deadline on old, new naira notes swap

Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a suspension of the deadline for the swapping of old to new Naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi State on Monday instituted a suit against the Federal Government at the Supreme Court over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes due to the CBN naira redesign policy.

The state governments said they are worried about the effects the CBN naira redesign policy is having on the residents of their states.

Consequently, they are seeking a restraining order by the Supreme Court to compel the government and CBN from implementing the policy.

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The states filed an ex-parte motion through their lawyer, AbdulHakeem Uthman Mustapha (SAN), and are urging the Supreme Court to grant them an interim injunction stopping the Federal Government either by itself or acting through the CBN, the commercial banks or its agents from carrying out its plan of ending the timeframe within which the now older versions of the 200, 500 and 1000 denominations of the Naira may no longer be legal tender on February 10, 2023.

“Unless this Honourable Court intervenes, the Government and people of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara State will continue to go through a lot of hardship and would ultimately suffer great loss as a result of the insufficient and unreasonable time within which the Federal Government is embarking on the ongoing currency redesign policy,” Mustapha said.

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The states said there has been a shortage in the supply of the new naira notes in Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States and that citizens who have dutifully deposited their old naira notes have increasingly found it difficult and sometimes next to impossible to access new naira notes to go about their daily activities.

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The states said the CBN policy is imposing a lot of hardship on Nigerians and insisted that the ten-day extension by the Federal Government is still insufficient to address the challenges of Nigerians swapping their old Naira notes for new ones.

The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, February 15, 2023.


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