New Naira: Only old N200 notes re-issued, CBN insists
On Wednesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) insists that only the old N200 notes be reissued, as instructed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The explanation was made in light of rumors that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the CBN to reissue the N500 and N1,000 notes as well.
The top bank denied rumors that it instructed deposit money institutions (DMBs) to accept old N500 and N1,000 notes from their clients.
The explanations were given at the same time as the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, claimed President Muhammadu Buhari erred in his handling of the plan to phase out the old N500 and N1,000 notes.
In a statement jointly signed by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Edward Adamu, and Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank said it is sticking to the directive of the President to reissue only the old N200 notes.
It read: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to a fake press release purported to have emanated from. the bank to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-issuance and release of old N500 and N1,000 notes as legal tender in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN reiterates that in line with the directive of Mr President, only N200 old notes are to be re-issued and to re-circulate concurrently with the new notes.
“Members of the public are, therefore, advised to ignore this fake news.
“The bank is working with the law enforcement agencies to investigate, apprehend and prosecute the purveyors of this fake news.”
CBN again denies directing banks to receive old N500, N1,000 notes
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, similarly denied yesterday’s allegations that it had ordered Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, to accept old N500 and N1,000 notes from their clients.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the director of corporate communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, claimed that media reports claiming that the apex bank had issued such a mandate were untrue.
He made it clear that the CBN would follow President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, which said that only old N200 notes would be reissued.
The statement read: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to some fake and unauthorised messages quoting the CBN as having authorised the Deposit Money Banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
“For the avoidance of doubt and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to only re-issue and recirculates the old N200 and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10, 2023.
“Members of the public should, therefore, disregard any message and/or information not formally released by the CBN on this subject.”
The CBN was reacting to a message purportedly issued by Mr. Nwanisobi, indicating that the CBN had directed DMBs to continue to receive old N500 and N1,000 notes until May 1.
It claimed that the directive followed a purported meeting between CBN officials and President Buhari.
That message has since been widely circulated on social media.
Buhari made mistake – Gov el-Rufai
Meanwhile, Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said President Muhammadu Buhari made a mistake concerning the naira redesign policy which phased out the old N500 and N1,000 notes.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service on Monday, el-Rufai said the policy was introduced to make the All Progressives Congress, APC, lose in the election.
He said governors were against the policy because of the hardship it had put people into and not because of vote buying.
“We reviewed this policy and the hardship it put people into and the feeling of hatred Nigerians developed for the APC because Nigerians are putting the blame on the APC and the people who introduced the policy did it to make our party lose in the election.
“After we finished our review, we agreed that the judgement of the Supreme Court should be followed which is the old and new notes should be used until the case is over.
“Did vote-buying start today? Why was the money not redesigned before? Why now? Secondly, is vote-buying only done with naira? It can be bought using dollar, euro, CFA Franc, you can give the voters food.
“There are several ways through which you can buy votes. You cannot take money out of politics, but you can reduce it.
“We are not against this policy because of vote buying. I swear to God we are against it because of how we saw people suffering, not the elections.
“The people who pushed for the naira redesign are not members of the APC. You see Godwin Emefiele, it was the PDP that brought him. The others with who the decision was taken with them we know them and when the time comes, will expose them because they are not members of our party.
“God willing, on Saturday, the masses will retaliate against those who want to drag our party to the ground, those who the APC an opportunity to get money more than what will be sufficient for them to do the shopping because some of them we knew when shopping in their homes was difficult for them eight years ago, but now, they have money more than you could imagine. I swear to God, we will bring them out and ask them where they got their money from.
Because a president is a person who believes in people, and we (governors), our image has been tarnished. He has been told that governors are thieves, which is why we are against the naira redesign policy. “Even if we go to him and say ‘our leader you have been lied to in this place’, and he says I understand and will take an action on it, the moment we depart, he will be told not to take any action. We believe the president made a mistake.”