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Nigerian Supreme Court Extends Old Banknote Demonetization Deadline Again

Terence Zimwara

01 December 2023

Nigerian Supreme Court Extends Old Banknote Demonetization Deadline Again

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has again extended the lifespan of the N1000, N500, and N200 naira notes. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also reiterated that all banknotes, including the previously demonetized naira, remain legal tender “ad infinitum, even beyond the initial 31 December 2023, deadline”

Demonetization Deadline Extended Again

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has reportedly granted the Federal Government’s request to extend the lifespan of the N1000, N500, and N200 naira notes for the second time. With the previous deadline of December 31, 2023, set by the same court nearing, the Nigerian government was forced to seek an extension of the validity of the notes.

Before the latest ruling, the Supreme Court had previously invalidated a demonetization directive issued by then-President Muhammadu Buhari. At the time, the court blasted the Buhari government and then Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele for proceeding with the process without seeking the public’s views.

As reported by Bitcoin.com News, the CBN’s controversial old naira banknote demonetization was initially set to be completed by the end of 2022. However, many Nigerians were unable to return the old banknotes before the deadline and this eventually forced the central bank to move the cut-off day. Despite the deadline extensions, the cash shortages persisted.

To ameliorate Nigerians’ woes, many Nigerian state governors sued the federal government and urged the Supreme Court to reverse the monetary policy.

Consulting the Public

The Supreme Court panel led by John Okoro reportedly directed that the old naira banknotes should remain legal tender until they are replaced with the redesigned notes. This decision means the old notes will co-exist as legal tender with the redesigned ones.

Explaining the reasoning behind the judgment, Okoro said:

“The old versions of 200, 500, 1000 naira notes/currency shall continue to be legal tenders alongside the new or designed versions until the government decides to bring the circulation of the old versions to an end after it consults with critical stakeholders and after putting all required structures in place.”

Just weeks before the Supreme Court made its latest ruling, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which is now led by Olayemi Michael Cardoso, reiterated that all banknotes including the previously demonetized naira, remain legal tender “ad infinitum, even beyond the initial 31 December 2023, deadline.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Africa
Central Bank
currency demonetization
legal tender
naira demonetization

https://news.bitcoin.com/nigerian-supreme-court-extends-old-banknote-demonetization-deadline-again/

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