The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday said old N200, N500, N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.
The apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin disclosed this in a statement on Monday. This is coming 10 days after the Supreme Court ruled that old naira notes should co-exist with new ones till the end of the year.
“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.
“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.
“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly,” the statement read.
The highest court of the land had on March 3 ordered that old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain valid till December 31, 2023.
This was after 16 states of the Federation instituted a suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
The 16 states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it is inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.
The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari’s disobedience of its February 8 order is a sign of dictatorship, adding that the President breached the Constitution of the Federation in the way he issued directives for the re-designing of the Naira by the CBN.
After the March 3 judgement by the Supreme Court, the Presidency, CBN and the AGF kept mum, throwing many bank customers and Nigerians into confusion as the ruling of the apex court contradicted the directive of the President on February 16 that old N500 and N1000 notes are banned and old N200 notes remain valid till April 10.
However, the Presidency broke its silence on Monday, saying the President never told the CBN and the AGF not to obey the order of the apex court.
“The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President,” the Presidency noted.
The Presidency also said the President is an absolute respecter of the rule of law and that the “negative campaign and personalised attacks against the President by the opposition and all manner of commentators is unfair and unjust”.
The CBN had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 following complaints by many Nigerians but the Supreme Court, after a suit filed by the states, held that the Federal Government, the CBN, commercial banks must not continue with the February 10 deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.
However, the President, in a national broadcast on February 16, directed the apex bank to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days — by April 10, 2023. He also said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.
There has been a flurry of reactions and stark criticisms against the President’s directive including from governors of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Umar Ganduje (Kano); Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; and many stalwarts of the ruling APC have openly censured and faulted the President’s directive, arguing that it has no grounds because the case is before the apex court.
Leading Senior Advocates of Nigeria like Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome have equally faulted the President’s move, saying he cannot overrule the apex court of the land.
CBN To Freeze Bank Accounts Without BVN, NIN Starting April 2024
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will freeze accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) from April 2024.
This is according to a Friday circular by the apex bank which instructed banks to place a “Post no Debit” restriction – which prevents customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits “for all existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN”.
“Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ until the new process is satisfied. Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ and no further transactions permitted,” the circular by the CBN Director of Payments System Management Department Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department Haruna Mustapha read in part.
It also said all BVN or NIN attached to accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024,
According to the bank, a BVN or NIN verification will be “conducted shortly”, adding that the move is part of its efforts to promote financial system stability and strengthening of the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions.
The bank will also carry out a “comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shortly” and where breaches are identified, appropriate sanctions shall be applied.
“The process for account opening shall commence by electronically retrieving BVN or NIN-related information from the NIBSS’ BVN or NIMC’s NIN databases and for same to become the primary information for onboarding of new customers, and all existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS’ ICAD immediately and within 24hrs of opening accounts/wallets,” the CBN added.
In cases where a potential customer does not have a BVN or NIN, the CBN advised the regulated financial institution to “commence the process of enrolling the individual onto the BVN database and be guided by the extant protocols issued by NIBSS”.
UBA Foundation Signals Beginning Of Yuletide Season, Lights Up Marina
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has kicked off the beginning of the yuletide season in a grand ceremony marked with fireworks and melodious Christmas carols.
The ceremony attended by staff, customers and members of the general public was held at the well decorated UBA Foundation Garden in Marina, Lagos.
Through its corporate social responsibility arm UBA Foundation, the bank marked the start of a fun-filled festive season that will bring lots of cheer and touch the lives of its customers and the individuals around the communities where it operates.
The bank celebrated the UBA Foundation Garden Light Up Ceremony and Carol evening on Tuesday, where staff and customers alike joined in to spread hope and sing carols to usher in the Christmas and end of the year season.
At the ceremony, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, was joined by other management staff to officially light up the Head office and the UBA Foundation Garden, which according to him, signifies how the bank has been bringing light to the lives of the people and communities around it.
He said, “We are here to officially light up the season and as you know, UBA has been the light in the financial sector on the continent and beyond. Going by our performance and we will continue to ensure that we spread light and joy wherever we go. This is very symbolic for us all, and we want to take time to appreciate the staff and customers who have made us achieve great things this year. At UBA, we are all about spreading love and giving hope.”
The Light-Up ceremony featured Christmas carols renditions by UBA’s Customer Fulfilment Centre Choir, a fun-filled guided tour around the beautiful UBA Foundation Garden and lots to eat and drink for every-one present.
UBA’s Group Head Marketing and Corporate Communications, while talking on the essence of the annual event, said, “UBA is a bank that values its environment and as an organisation that is corporately responsible, we have taken it upon ourselves to beautify our environment and add colour, especially as the year comes to an end.”
Continuing, she said, “We want to let them know that all lives matter. I hope that as always, we will be able to make many smile and give a glimmer of hope during a special season like this.”
UBA Foundation, the CSR arm of the UBA Group, is committed to the socio-economic betterment of the communities in which the bank operates, focusing on development in the areas of Education, Environment, Economic Empowerment and Special Projects.
Old, New Naira Notes Remain Legal Tender Till Further Notice — Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the old N200, N500, N1000 notes should continue to co-exist with the new notes till further notice.
The apex court ruled that both old and new notes should continue to remain legal tender until the Federal Government put a process in place for its replacement or redesign after due consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro gave the ruling following an application by the Federal Government seeking asking the court to grant an extension of time for old naira notes to remain in circulation as a legal tender.
The Federal Government also prayed the court to lift its March 3 order noting that the extension of time is necessary as it has not been able to print the volume of new notes that would enable a phase out of the old currency before the December 31 order.
In the fresh application by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, the Federal Government further explained that should the Supreme Court decline its request to extend the period of circulation of old notes, the country stands the risk of descending into another national, economic and financial crisis as witnessed in the first quarter of the year when the naira redesign policy was being implemented under the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
It asked the court to allow the old notes to be in use with the new notes until after it consults with stakeholders, pointing out that the economy may be in jeopardy once again because some Nigerians have started hoarding the old and new naira notes ahead of the December 31st timeline.
In a unanimous decision the seven man panel allowed Fagbemi’s application.
Mid-November, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had said the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would remain legal tender indefinitely.
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