The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ordered that the old denominations of the naira currency, namely the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes, should remain in circulation until December 31st.
The order was issued in response to a petition filed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which sought to extend the deadline for the withdrawal of the old notes.
The CBN had initially set a deadline of June 30th, 2023, for the total withdrawal of the old denominations from circulation. This move was intended to facilitate the circulation of the new and more secure banknotes, which were introduced by the CBN.
However, the deadline has cause a lot of hardship and many Nigerians continued to hold onto the old notes.
Despite the hardship the new naira policy poss on Nigerians, the CBN argued that the failure to withdraw the old notes from circulation had led to an increase in counterfeiting and other illegal activities, as criminals had been able to exploit the vulnerabilities of the old notes.
In response, the Supreme Court ordered that the old notes should be withdrawn from circulation by the end of 2023.
The Court later granted a reprieve to the CBN by extending the deadline for the withdrawal of the old notes to December 31st, 2023.
The Court stated that it had taken into account the economic implications of a sudden withdrawal of the old notes, and had decided to allow more time for Nigerians to exchange the old notes for the new ones.