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Buhari Considers Extending Validity of Old Naira Notes by 60 Days



Muhammadu Buhari

In a bid to avoid disobeying a Supreme Court order, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is considering extending the validity of old naira notes by 60 days.

The move is intended to ease the hardship faced by Nigerians as well as the legal implications of not obeying the constitutional court’s order.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had set a deadline of February 10 for the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes to be exchanged for new notes, but the Supreme Court ruled that the old notes would remain valid until it delivers its judgment in a case filed by some states against the federal government.

In a meeting between President Buhari, the leadership of the Nigeria Governors Forum, and the Progressives Governors Forum, it was decided that the old naira notes of N1,000, N500, and N200 be allowed free movement in and out of the banks for the next 60 days. Additionally, all three notes will be legal tender during this period, but any old N500 or N1000 that goes into a bank will not be sent back into circulation.

News About Nigeria understands that although most governors were on the same page with the president, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state insisted on the total cancellation of the policy. This disagreement resulted in the president being disappointed that the governors reneged on their promise to withdraw the case.

After the meeting, President Buhari met with Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, and Modibbo Tukur, the director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), on the need to allow all old notes to circulate in the system to ease hardship on ordinary Nigerians.

While the president is concerned about the suffering of Nigerians and wants to find a lasting solution to it, he will not disobey the court’s order. It is clear that some militancy is being propagated against the people by the elite who have the means to secure the new notes no matter what while the people continue to suffer.

The president will continue to engage and see the way out of the logjam.