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Old Banknote Remains Legal Tender, Says CBN

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Every banknote remains legal tender and should not be rejected by anyone, the Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed.

This is as the apex bank directed all its branches across the country to continue to issue different denominations of the old and redesigned banknotes in adequate quantities to deposit money banks.

The apex bank stressed that every banknote that it has issued remains legal tender and should not be rejected by anyone. This disclosure was contained in a public statement issued by the Director of Corporate Communications of the CBN, Isah Abdulmumin, on Wednesday, in Abuja.

It was titled, ‘All Banknotes Issued by the CBN Remain Legal Tender.’ Isa said the directive follows reports of scarcity of cash across some major cities in the country despite initial assurances by the CBN of sufficient cash stocks in all locations across the country.

The statement read, “Our attention has again been drawn to reports of a scarcity of cash across some major cities in the country despite assurances of sufficient cash stocks in all locations across the country. There have also been reports of anxiety among some members of the public over the legality or otherwise of old Naira banknotes.

“For the avoidance of doubt, while reiterating that there are sufficient banknotes across the country for all normal economic activity, we wish to state unambiguously that every banknote issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria remains legal tender and should not be rejected by anyone, as stipulated in Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007.

“Accordingly, branches of the CBN across the country have been directed to continue to issue different denominations of old and redesigned banknotes in adequate quantities to deposit money banks for onward circulation to bank customers.

“We wish to restate that all denominations of banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria remain legal tender. In line with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007, no one should refuse to accept the Naira as a means of payment.

“Consequently, members of the public are advised to accept all CBN-issued banknotes currently in circulation and guard against panic withdrawals. We reaffirm that there is sufficient stock of currency notes to facilitate normal economic activities.”

Isa further advised members of the public to reduce the pressure on the use of physical cash and embrace alternative modes of payment.

Recently, the apex bank issued a directory to the public that it had sufficient stock of currency notes following alleged reports of scarcity of cash in banks, automated teller machines, Points of Sale, and Bureaux de Change in some major cities across the country.

The bank noted that the cash scarcity in some locations was due to high volume withdrawals from CBN branches by Deposit Money Banks and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs.

It said, “While we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country. The branches of the CBN across the country are also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation.”

The apex bank has had to clarify the situation of the naira because of a December 2023 deadline looming on the legitimacy of old naira notes.

CBN Cashless Policy

In October 2022, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed the apex bank’s plan to redesign some naira denominations (N200, N500, and N1000 notes) and reduce currency circulation in a bid to boost cashless transactions in the economy.

At the time, Emefiele, stated this move was targeted at controlling currency in circulation as well as curbing counterfeit currency and ransom payments to kidnappers and terrorists. He highlighted that the existing notes would retain their legal tender status until January 31, 2023.

He said, “Indeed, the integrity of a local legal tender, the efficiency of its supply, and its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy are some of the hallmarks of a great central bank.

“In recent times, however, currency management has faced several daunting challenges that have continued to grow in scale and sophistication with attendant and unintended consequences for the integrity of both the CBN and the country.”

He also said the move would curb inflation in the economy. However, this move was kicked against by organised private sector, labour unions, and almost everyone in the economy. According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the short timeframe for the implementation of the policy caused hardships in the country.

The aftermath of the cash scarcity that followed the implementation caused Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product growth to fall to 2.31 per cent in the first quarter of 2023. After numerous interventions, the Supreme Court, in 2023, mandated the apex bank to retain the legality of old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes alongside their redesigned counterparts until December 31, 2023.

Some reports estimated that the economy lost about N20tn to the CBN’s move.

Nigerians rejoice

Following the recent announcement that old naira notes will remain legal tender, Nigerians took to X, formerly Twitter, in support of the apex’s directive. A lot of Nigerians voiced their relief while expressing the frustrations they faced during the cashless policy implementation.

@theonly1acre tweeted, “God bless the day I stood against this worthless retrogressive policy initiated by Godwin Emefiele. It was quite unpopular at that time, especially as it seemed to have favoured the opposition, but I knew it was crap. All naira notes remain legal tenders.”

@theemmanuelashe tweeted, “Upon the whole brouhaha of naira redesign. Nov ‘22 – Feb ‘23 was a nightmare for Nigerians.”

@AzeezAd43157165, said, “All Banknotes issued by CBN remain legal tender.” @shineskybaba, said, “Way to go. Prompt response to quell scarcity and economic sabotage.”

@PreciousOnukogu, tweeted, “In simple terms — Old and New Naira Notes are still valid. Why beat around the bush? We too like to dey make things difficult for ourselves and for others in this country.”

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Lagos Govt Warns Schools, Teachers Against Extension Classes, Fee-Paying Tutorials for Students

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The Lagos State government has issued a stern warning to teachers and schools against extending official hours for fee-paying extra lessons.

This directive was announced by the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun, during the unveiling of a block of classrooms and furniture at Amuwo Odofin Junior High School complex.

Alli-Balogun emphasized that the extra hour after the official closing time – typically used for paid lessons – ought to be for extracurricular activities. The activities, the commissioner said, include clubs such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Boys Scouts, Boys/Girls Brigade, STEM Club, Writing and Debate Club, are essential for the well-rounded development of students.

Expressing his disapproval of the practice where the first lesson of the day is often neglected by teachers, Alli-Balogun warned that any teacher found derelict in their duties would face strict consequences.

“Do your job at the right time between 8.00am and 2.00pm and leave the extra hour for reading or extracurricular activities.

“We will no longer condone using that time for fee-paying extra lessons in our schools. Education is free in Lagos State, and nobody should be charging any fee for anything,” he warned.

The commissioner made these remarks during the inauguration of new classroom facilities and furniture at the Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School Complex, a project sponsored by Grimaldi Group and Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd.

He urged students to fully engage in the various social activities and clubs available to ensure their holistic development.

Alli-Balogun’s stern message underscores the government’s commitment to free education and the importance of extracurricular activities in fostering a balanced educational environment.

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Declare State of Emergency on Power Sector Now, Barth Nnaji Tells FG

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By Morakinyo Ajibade

Chairman, Geometric Power Limited, and former Minister of Power, Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, has said that only a state of emergency on the power and gas sector will restore the comatose energy and electricity crisis in the nation.

The former Minister, who just commissioned a power station in Aba, Abia State, made this call while speaking as a guest lecturer at the inaugural Dele Momodu Leadership Lecture, held at the Nigerian Institute of International and Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.

According to him, a state of emergency needs to be declared in the gas sector as this declaration will save the power sector and allow the government and other stakeholders to address fundamental issues in the gas sector in a robust manner.

“The issues will include how to strike a healthy balance between producing gas for export and gas for domestic consumption. Gas is equally needed in both markets.

“There is not enough natural gas or even liquefied petroleum gas used in the kitchen. Even the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, a major foreign exchange earner that also has a guaranteed market, has been operating at 60% capacity on account of insufficient gas supply.

“The petroleum companies supplying gas to power-generating companies are in a tighter position. Because they are performing sub-optimally, there are now longer periods of electricity blackouts throughout the country. This is despite the spirited efforts of the NNPCL, the Ministry of Power and the Presidency,” he said.

The event, which attracted the who’s who in the nation’s political and economic climate, was held to mark the 64th birthday of Aare Dele Momodu, a veteran and seasoned journalist, who has dedicated most of his life time in the pursuit of equity and food governance in Nigeria.

Among dignitaries that graced the all important gathering were the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. John Dramani Mahama; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; traditional rulers, captains of industries, and the general public.

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Adeleke Hails Glo, Adenuga for Enormous Contributions to Economy

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The governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has praised Globacom for its enormous contributions to Nigerian society. He also lauded the company’s chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Jr., for his strong faith in the country.

Governor Adeleke, who made the remark while entertaining a Globacom team in his office in the state capital, insisted that “the subnational entities are where your market is and even though the regulatory body is national, your market base remains the states and the local governments. You must deliberately prioritize partnership with the state government”.

“The telecom community must understand that giving full support to the states in terms of payment of right taxes and corporate social responsibility is an investment in your market. The more robust the state governments are, the more buoyant your market will be,” the governor averred.

He extolled Dr Adenuga, who he described as a “great Nigerian whose impact on the Nigerian and the African economy cannot be quantified.”

He told the Globacom team that his administration was prepared to work with the corporation on a business partnership. “Be rest assured that this partnership is already a reality. We just need to work out the details”, the governor added.

The Glo Public Sector team leader, Niyi Odejobi assured the governor that the telecom behemoth is prepared to support the state to flourish.

He said Globacom is prepared to roll out digital and internet infrastructure to support companies and government in the state, promising that the cooperation will transform Osun state.

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