With the Supreme Court decision prolonging the legal tender status of the old naira notes through December 31, 2023, stakeholders in the financial sector and banks are divided over their re-issuance.
While Nigerians continue to bemoan, banks claim they can’t start issuing the old notes until the CBN gives them the go-ahead.
When contacted by reporters, a few bank employees claimed that their institutions would follow any instructions given by the CBN.
Under the condition of anonymity, a representative of Access Bank stated that the banks will follow CBN directives rather than Supreme Court orders.
“Banks in Nigeria are heavily regulated, and we only listen to what the CBN says. Despite the ruling, we still need to hear from our regulator”, he said.
He claimed that the President, who the CBN answers to, has made a decision about whether or not the apex bank will comply.v
“We all know what the President has said on the matter. The CBN takes its orders from the Presidency. I am sure any action by CBN would be a directive from the President
Another bank official, who works from Keystone Bank said: “We can’t do anything contrary to CBN. They will direct what next and probably from Monday we shall get more updates from our management when they meet on Monday.
Nevertheless, according to a second bank official who also begged to remain anonymous, the old notes have not been provided to the bank despite the order.
He said;“We don’t have the old notes and we are not answerable to the Supreme Court. The CBN must send a circular before we can implement any directive.”
Financial analysts, however, demanded that the old Naira notes be immediately reissued in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Speaking in this regard, Tajudeen Olayinka, Chief Executive Officer, Wyoming Capital and Partners said: “I think the immediate impacts are: restoration of cash/liquidity to the system; improvement in circular flow; and obliteration of initial objectives of CBN to remove illegal money/money in wrong hands; to remove distortions; and to reduce inflationary pressure.
“CBN got the whole thing wrong by introducing a policy without good knowledge of policy/system dynamics, and it is sad that it started and ended in ignominy.”
Similarly, Prof Uche Uwaleke, President, Association of Capital Market Academic of Nigeria, ACMAN, said: “I advise the CBN to comply with the ruling since it has come from the final court in the land.
“Doing so will help revive economic activities and reduce the current difficulties being experienced by Nigerians on account of the policy.
Nigerians have taken to social media to express their frustrations at the back and forth between the Supreme Court and the CBN.
A twitter user with the handle @ozzyetomi said; “Hi CBN, All the Banks, Presidency, Sycophants, Soft headed government groupies etc, whats the plan to go back to normal with being able to rightfully access and spend your money? The show is over, can you guys get back to fucking work please?”
“After the unanimous Supreme Court judgement, honestly, the best thing will be for the President to fire the CBN Governor. There is no further justification for that man remaining on that seat any longer.” @AyoOyalowo tweeted.
“CBN should just release this cash & commercial banks must not be unfortunate. Nigerians are suffering,” one @poojamedia on Twitter said.
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