In adherence to the Supreme Court judgement ordering the continuation of using the old naira notes, some commercial banks in Lagos have started issuing the old N500 and N1000 notes to customers at their various automated teller machines (ATMs) terminals and over the counter.
It would be recalled that some state Governors have filed a suit at the Supreme Court asking for intervention in the new naira redesign policy, the governors sought the court’s permission to prevail over the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow the old and new naira notes coexist.
On February 8, the court restrained the CBN from enforcing the February 10 deadline following an ex parte application brought by the states.
It later insisted that the old notes remained legal tender while adjourning the hearing of the case brought against the CBN on the policy on February 15.
Putting an end to the controversy trailing the naira redesign policy, the supreme court in its final judgement on the matter last week, ruled that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes should continue as legal tender until December 31, 2023.
It was observed on Tuesday that some commercial banks have stated to comply with the court order, despite silence from the CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari.
It was observed that a Zenith Bank branch in Festac Town paid out the old notes to customers over the counter.
“It has been approved by CBN for circulation till December 31 and that’s why we can dispense to our customers,” a bank official said.
Another bank official said the branch had “received orders to begin dispensing old notes to our customers”.
The ATMs at the branches of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) close to Agege-Pen Cinema Bridge, and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) in the Ikeja area Lagos, were also dispensing the old notes.
Also, GTB on Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Mafoluku, Oshodi, is issuing the old naira notes.
Isa Abdulmumin, CBN spokesperson, said both the old and new notes are legal tender and banks are currently issuing to customers.
However, he said the CBN was yet to issue an official statement on the matter.
“Banks are paying old notes as well as new notes. They are all legal tender,” he said.
“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.”
Abdulmumin expressed concern on the continued rejection of the old notes by some traders and transporters.
He said the old notes should not be rejected as they are still a valid means of exchange.
“No. They can’t reject it. It’s all legal tender,” he said.