Nigeria News

Naira design policy: Banks begin dispensing old notes on ATM

By Seun Ibiyemi

Subsequent to the Supreme Court judgement on old Naira notes,  commercial banks Automated Teller Machine (ATM)  have started payment of old N500 and N1000 notes to its customers.

These banks are eagerly awaiting the directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on accepting old naira notes. The Supreme Court ruled on March 3, 2023, that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

A source close to Central Bank of Nigeria, who spoke on anonymity told Nigerian NewsDirect that CBN cannot disobey the court order but might declare a position after the governorship election.

Findings by Nigerian NewsDirect revealed that Sterling bank in Sango, Ogun State filled their ATM machine with old naira notes. Guaranty Trust Bank, Polaris Bank and some other banks were on Monday confirmed to be dispensing the old notes in Abuja and Kano.

A banker who spoke with journalists disclosed that the Management gave directive to begin payment of customers with the old notes.

She added, “The problem is that taking the old notes from customers will require the CBN, as we don’t have any directive in that regard.”

Meanwhile, CBN has not officially issued a nation-wide circular instructing the Deposit Money Banks to comply with the apex court judgment neither has the presidency reacted to the ruling.

Recall that a seven-member panel of justices presided over by Justice Inyang Okoro, on Friday, held that the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the CBN for the redesigning and withdrawal of old notes of N200, N500 and N1,000, without consultation with the states, the Federal Executive Council and the National Council of State and other stakeholders, was unconstitutional.

The apex court observed that no reasonable notice was given before the implementation of the policy as provided under the CBN Act.

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