As a result, stakeholders in the financial sector and banks are divided about re-issuing old naira notes following the Supreme Court’s decision to extend their legal tender status until December 31, 2023.
While banks have stated that they will not begin re-issuance of old notes until directed to do so by the CBN, stakeholders such as bank customers, financial analysts, and business owners have called for the immediate re-issuance of old naira notes in accordance with the Supreme Court.
According to some bank officials who spoke to Vanguard MoneyDigest, the banks will comply once they receive a directive from the CBN.
Vanguard quoted an Access Bank official who wouldn’t want to be mentioned as saying that the banks will follow what the CBN says rather than what the Supreme Court says.
“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.
On whether the apex bank will obey, he said the CBN reports to the President and that the President has decided on the issue.
“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.
But another bank official who also pleaded to remain anonymous, told Vanguard Money Digest that in spite of the directive, the old notes have not been made available to the bank.
In his words, “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.”
Corroborating, another banker stressed that the old Naira notes are no longer in their possession, adding that if the CBN makes it available to banks they will start paying their customers.