In accordance with the decision made by the Supreme Court on March 3, 2023, which extended the expiration date of the Central Bank of Nigeria's currency redesign policy to December 31, this year, various banks across the nation have begun handing out the previous N500 and N1,000 notes to their clients.
However, the findings from Vanguard showed that some banks have not followed suit, claiming that they are awaiting official instructions from the Central Bank of Nigeria, or CBN.
Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank, Access Bank, Sterling Bank, and Union Bank were among the financial institutions that were presently issuing the previous banknotes to their customers yesterday.
A customer of Access Bank stated that he withdrew N20,000 and received payment in the old N500 and N1,000 notes, confirming this development.
However, a bank employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity denied that the bank has begun providing customers with the old notes because the CBN has not authorized banks to do so.
A GTB employee who spoke on condition of anonymity with Vanguard confirmed the development: " Yes, we paid our customers N500 and N1,000 yesterday.
Vanguard was informed by another GTB associate that the CBN provided the bank with informal approval prior to the distribution of the previous N500 and N1,000 notes to customers.
However, a high-ranking CBN official denied knowing of any official or unofficial approval or directive allowing banks to issue the old notes. The source claims that because the CBN has not received any instructions from the Federal Government, it is unable to provide banks with any instructions regarding the matter.
The Supreme Court decided last Friday that the old N500 and N1,000 notes should continue to be legal tender until December 31, 2023.
Mr. Olojo Victor, president of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, AMMBAN, made the following remarks regarding the development: Yes, it is a positive sign. We believe that the Supreme Court has proven to be the common man's last hope.
Despite the policy's good intentions, Nigerians were further pushed into poverty as a result. It made them unemployed. It made life impossible to bear.
“I hope that the CBN will comply with the Supreme Court's directive to the latter so that Nigerians' lives can once again return to normal.
"As an association, it is a welcome development, and we are grateful to the Supreme Court for not giving up on the common man's hope. We appreciate the Supreme Court's upholding of justice and expect the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement appropriate mechanisms for carrying out its policies that have such an impact on Nigerians in the future.
Dr. Uju Ogubunka, President of the Association of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, BCAN, expressed his appreciation for the development, stating: We had high expectations. Therefore, it is a welcome development.
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