Nigerians sight a scene of relieve as CBN accepts old N200,N500,N1000 back in circulation
Nigerians late Monday evening sight a scene of relieve from the country redesign Naira notes demonetization policy inflicted sufferings as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), finally accepted that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till Dec. 31.
The Central Bank of Nigeria which had maintained a disturbing silence with President Muhammadu Buhari over the Supreme Court decision that invalidates the demonetisation policy reversed itself in a statement in compliance with the court order.
According to a statement by Isa AbdulMumin, CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, this is in compliance with the March 3 judgment of the Supreme Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the apex court, had in the said ruling on March 3, ordered the Federal Government to accept the designated demonstrations of Naira notes as legal tender until Dec. 31.
However, neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, reacted to the ruling until when the presidency, in a statement on Monday, absolved the president from non-compliance with the ruling.
According to the statement signed by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Buhari never told Emefiele and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to defy any court order.
“The directive of the president, following the meeting of the Council of State, is that the CBN must make available for circulation all money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the position, ” Shehu said.
AbdulMumin said that the new CBN directive was in compliance with established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterised the Buhari government.
“Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court judgment of March 3.
Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers ‘ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31,” he said.
Reacting to the directive, a financial expert, Prof. Umhe Uwaleke, described it as a welcome development.
Uwaleke, a Professor of Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, however, urged the CBN to reinject the quantity of note withdrawn to address the acute shortage of cash.
“My concern is that except a substantial quantity of already withdrawn notes are reinjected and the cash withdrawal limits eased, the cash scarcity is most likely to persist,” he said. (NAN)
Order electronic banking platforms overhaul, Reps urge CBN
The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to direct banks to immediately overhaul their electronic transaction platforms.
According to the House, the move has become necessary in the aftermath of the recent CBN policies, which have put pressure on online and electronic banking.
The CBN had set lower limits for cash withdrawal and redesigned the N1,000, N500 and N200 noted, policies that caused chaos in the country.
A member of the House, Sergius Ogun, at the plenary on Thursday, moved a motion demanding reinforcement and upgrade of banking systems, especially those of the Deposit Money Banks also known as commercial banks.
The motion was titled ‘Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to Direct All Commercial Banks to Overhaul their Online Banking Service Platforms to Ease Electronic Banking Operations.’
Moving the motion, Ogun noted that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly, like the CBN.
The lawmaker also noted that the CBN was established under Section 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to issue legal tender currencies in Nigeria. He added that Section 2 of the CBN Act saddles the bank with the duty of promoting a sound financial system in Nigeria.
He said, “The House acknowledges that in the wake of the recent naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, there has been an increase in the use of online and electronic banking services to carry out monetary transactions across the country.
“The House also acknowledges that the use of online or internet banking services by Nigerians in the past three months or thereabout has been characterised by varying degrees of hitches, ranging from unsuccessful electronic bank transfers, Point of Sale service failure and a host of others.
“The House is disturbed that the ineffectiveness or difficulty in using internet banking services across the online banking platforms of most commercial banks in Nigeria has brought untold hardship, suffering and difficulties on Nigerians in the past three months.”
Ogun added, “The House is worried that if nothing is done by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks to address these difficulties or ineffectiveness, Nigerians will continue to suffer untold hardships and loss of monies to unsuccessful electronic bank transactions.”
Adopting the motion, the House resolved to urge the CBN to “direct all commercial banks in the country to immediately overhaul their existing online/electronic banking platforms for efficiency and ease of conducting electronic banking operations.”
The House further mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to ensure compliance with the resolutions and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Naira redesign suit : “We don’t want to be use as escape goat ” says S’Court
Vows to hear Naira redesign suit today
The Supreme Court of Nigeria said it must hear today the suit filed by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States challenging Central Bank of Nigeria CBN demonetisation policy because it did want to be used as escape goat.
Presiding Justice of a full panel of the apex court Justice John Okoro announced on Monday at the resumed hearing of the matter.
According to Okoro, “We don’t want a situation where the judiciary will be an escape goat.” We will hear and deliver our judgment.
CBN uncovers N365m fake notes in five years – Report
The Central Bank of Nigeria seized N365.24m counterfeit notes between 2016 and 2020, according to report.
The figures were collated from the CBN’s annual report for each year available on its website.
The 2017 CBN annual report noted that the bank seized 77,576 pieces of counterfeit banknotes, valued at N51.45m in 2016.
The 2018 report showed that N93.43m fake notes were seized in 2017 and N98.82m in 2018.
The report read, “To maintain the integrity of the banknotes in circulation, the Department, in collaboration with DMBs, Bankers Warehouse Pls and security agencies, continued to intensify its efforts at mitigating the incidences of counterfeiting during the period under review. A total of 119,663 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N98.82m was recorded in 2018. This indicated a decline of 1.30 per cent in volume terms and an increase of 5.77 per cent in value terms when compared with 118,126 pieces with a nominal value of N93.43m recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.”
The 2020 annual report showed that N64.71m counterfeit notes were seized in 2019 and N56.83m in 2020.
The report partly read, “To maintain the integrity of the banknotes in circulation, the Bank, in collaboration with Security Agencies, sustained efforts at combating counterfeiting activities in 2020. A total of 67,265 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N56.83 million was recorded in 2020. This was 20.80 per cent in volume and 12.18 per cent value, lower than 84,934 pieces and N64.71 million in 2019.”
The bank has maintained that N1000 and N500 notes have been the most counterfeited over the years.
In a circular to banks in January 2019, the CBN threatened to fine banks for paying fake notes through their automated teller machines.
It warned that each bank would be fined N1m per branch if found guilty of this crime.
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