BREAKING: CBN finally orders banks to commence circulation of old N500, N1,000 notes

Access Bank

Ten days after the Supreme Court ordered that the return of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes as legal tender to circulate side by side the redesigned versions till December 31, 2023, the Central Bank OF Nigeria (CBN) on Monday, finally issued the much-awaited circular to commercial banks to implement the order.


But it came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari, absolved himself of blame and threw it at the doorsteps of the CBN and Attorney General of the Federation, short of asking Nigerians, who had suffered the brunt of the cash crunch crisis to hold them responsible.


The by the apex bank’s directive to the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) was to the effect that the should comply with the orders of the apex court, which had on March 3, delivered a judgement in in a case initially brought by three Governors – Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi ane Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, who riled against the February 10 deadline for the old notes to cease to be legal tenders.


The apex court had initially halted the implementation of the deadline on February 10 and reiterated same a week later on February 15, before Buhari in a nationwide broadcast on February 16, ordered that only the N200 notes should return as a temporary measure till April.


Against the backdrop of back and forth between the banks, claiming not to have received a clear directive from the apex band and their customers, who had faced some of the most trying times in recent years, the CBN finally issued the directive by CBN’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, on Monday.


The statement read: “In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterised the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.


“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”




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