Following the Supreme Court judgment, which extended the validity of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) currency redesign policy to December, some deposit money banks have started paying out the old notes.
According to a Daily Trust report, some commercial banks in Kano and Abuja have commenced paying out the old N500 and N1000 notes.
While some branches of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) issued old notes, others such as Polaris bank in Abuja had not commenced as of the time this report was filed.
A member of staff confided in the publication that only the old N200 notes were still being issued, “as we do not have any new directive on what to do yet.”
Sources at GTB said they received a directive from their management to begin paying the old notes in their vault.
“The problem is that taking the old notes from customers will require the CBN form as we don’t have any directive in that regard,” the source said.
As of the time of this report, newsmen were unable to confirm if the CBN had officially issued a bank-wide circular instructing the Deposit Money Banks to comply.
Economic experts have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to obey the judgment on the validity of the old naira notes.
An economist, Paul Alake, said there should be more clarity on how the old N500 and N1000 notes return into circulation.
He said the judgment would not be impactful if the old notes were not released by the CBN into the banking system.
“If the money is not released into the system by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the judgment may not have any effect.”
In a unanimous judgement, a seven-member panel of justices presided over by Justice Inyang Okoro, on Friday, held that the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the redesigning and withdrawal of old notes of N200, N500, and N1,000, without consultation with the states, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Council of State and other stakeholders, was unconstitutional.
The apex court observed that no reasonable notice was given before the implementation of the policy as provided under the CBN Act.
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