It is official, Nigerians are now free to buy and sell with both the old and new Naira notes.
This is because the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has finally announced that both the old and new Naira notes are now legal tender.
The CBN announcement followed the Supreme Court ruling that both the old and new Naira notes are to remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.
Making the announcement, on Tuesday, CBN’s Spokesman, Isa Abdulmumin, said banks have begun to issue both old and new notes to customers at their various Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, terminals and over the counter.
He said even though the CBN is yet to issue an official statement on the matter, Nigerians can now spend and collect both the old and new notes.
The CBN spokesman added that the Apex bank just wants to make life easy for Nigerians and has directed commercial banks to obey the Supreme Court’s ruling, which extended the validity period of the old notes to the end of the year.
His words: “Banks are paying old notes as well as new notes. They are all legal tender.
“Yes, the CBN has not issued an official statement on the issue. Anyone banks give to you, you can collect. We just want to make life easy for Nigerians.”
He raised concerns about the continued rejection of the old notes by some traders and transporters.
He advised the general public to stop rejecting the old notes, as they are still a valid means of exchange.
He added: “No. They can’t reject it. It’s all legal tender.”
Some state Governors had dragged the Federal Government before the Supreme Court, over the controversy trailing the naira redesign policy of the CBN.
Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states had in a suit in February sought the intervention of the apex court in extending the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
The Court on February 8, restrained the CBN from enforcing the February 10 deadline, following an ex parte application filed by the states.
It also held that the old notes remained legal tender and adjourned the hearing of the matter to February 15.
In its final judgement on the matter last week’s Friday, the Apex Court held that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.