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Cash Swap: Despite Supreme Court judgement, CBN counts down to Feb 10 deadline

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues to count down to the February 10 deadline for the expiration of the old naira notes as legal tender in Nigeria, despite Supreme Court’s judgement against the move.

The CBN naira redesign policy announced in October 2022, to address vote buying and insecurity has been roundly criticised by Nigerians, who have been struggling to exchange the old notes for new ones.

The scarcity of the new N200, N500, and N1000 denominations brought about a cash crisis across the country as many banks failed to dispense the new notes both on the counter and at their ATM points.

However, days after the governments of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi state dragged the CBN to court over the naira redesign policy, the apex court on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, suspended the move by the CBN to end the use of the new notes as legal tender by February 10, 2023.

Counsel to the applicants, Mr Abdul-Hakeem Mustapha, SAN, had argued that the CBN policy had led to an “excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land.”

But 24 hours after the apex court’s judgement, the CBN on its website continues to run a countdown to the deadline.

“Current series of N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal until the deadline 10th February 2023,” a notice on the website reads.

In the notice, the bank also advised Nigerians to deposit their old notes at designated financial touchpoints.

Meanwhile, following the Supreme Court judgement on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele met at the State House, Abuja.

But the details of the meeting are yet to be revealed as Emefiele refused to speak with journalists after the meeting.

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