Governor Bello Matawalle says the Central Bank of Nigeria’s compliance with the Supreme Court order on old currency notes was a victory for Nigerians.
“All Nigerians can now sigh a relief on this matter, and we expect more cash to be in circulation to ease our pains, while those who were unable to replace their old naira notes with the scarce new notes will no longer lose their hard-earned money,” stated the Zamfara governor.
Mr Matawalle said this in a statement issued on Monday.
“Those who accused us of going to court for the sake of the presidential elections, even as Nigerians groaned under the policy implementation, are now proven wrong as we did not relent until we succeeded in achieving our demand to its logical conclusion,” the governor explained. “This is way after we have won the said presidential election.”
Mr Matawalle, seeking reelection in the rescheduled March 18 governorship and state assembly poll, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for distancing his regime from any attempt to disobey the Supreme Court order.
On Monday, the CBN said the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender until December 31.
“Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court judgment of March 3. Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31,” stated the CBN.
The Supreme Court had, in the March 3 judgment, ordered the Buhari regime to accept the designated denominations of naira notes as legal tender until December 31.
However, neither Mr Buhari nor the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele reacted to the ruling until the Presidency, in a statement on Monday, absolved the president from non-compliance with the ruling.
“The directive of the president, following the meeting of the Council of State, is that the CBN must make available for circulation all money that is needed, and nothing has happened to change the position,” the statement noted.