The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday, said that there was no need to shift the February 10, 2023 deadline, despite the Supreme Court restraining the apex bank from going ahead with the deadline.
Recall that the CBN had fixed January 31st as the deadline for the exit of the old Naira notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 but the apex bank later bowed to pressure and extended the swapping period to February 10.
Newsflash Nigeria reported that the Supreme Court had last Wednesday temporarily halted the move by the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to ban the use of the old naira notes with effect from February 10, 2023.
Some state governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress APC who alleged that the CBN policy was targeted against the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu dragged the Federal Government to court.
The governments of Kogi, Kaduna, and Zamfara States last week, filed a lawsuit before the Supreme Court, seeking a restraining order to stop the FG from executing the February 10 deadline.
In a Suit Number: SC/CS/200/2023, the states asked the apex court to declare that the President of Nigeria, cannot unilaterally direct the Central Bank of Nigeria to recall the new N200, N500, and N500 old Bank notes without recourse to the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council, respectively.
They also prayed a mandatory order seeking a reversal of the Federal Government policy to recall the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes from circulation, for affecting the economic well-being of over 20 million of its citizens.
The applicants also sought mandatory order, compelling the Federal Government to reverse the Naira redesign policy for alleged failure to comply with the 1999 (as amended) constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The ruling last Wednesday on the matter, the Supreme Court in a seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro halted the move by FG and the CBN to end the circulation of old Naira notes across the country.
The matter was, however, adjourned to February 15, 2023, for a hearing of the substantive suit
However, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that there was no need to shift the February 10, 2023 deadline
He said this during a visit on Tuesday to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the monetary and currency redesign policy of the bank.
He said, “The situation is substantially calming down since the commencement of over-the-counter payments to complement ATM disbursements and the use of super-agents.
“There is, therefore, no need to consider any shift from the deadline of February 10.”
The CBN governor insisted that there was no need to shift the deadline.
He also said that Point of Sale agents who charge above N200 for the CBN cash swap programme will be arrested and jailed when caught.
The CBN governor further said that the PoS operators can come to the CBN to be compensated for any extra cost incurred in getting the new notes rather than charging a higher fee to customers.