…says only N200 approved for reissuance
…as Nigerians await Supreme Court judgment Wednesday

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has described as fake the news making the rounds that it has been redirected to reissue and recirculate the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.

Distancing itself from such news, the CBN reiterated that it was sticking to the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari to reissue and release only the old N200 banknotes.

In a press release dated February 21, 2023 and signed by Edward L. Adamu, deputy governor, Corporate Services, and Osita Nwanisobi, director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank said its attention had been drawn to a fake press release purported to have emanated from the bank to the effect that President Buhari had approved the reissuance and release of old N500 and N1,000 notes as legal tender in the country.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Central Bank of Nigeria reiterates that in line with the directives of Mr. President, only N200 old notes are to be reissued and to circulate concurrently with the new notes. Members of the public are therefore advised to ignore this fake news,” the bank said in the release posted on its website.

In the thick of last week’s protests in many parts of the country arising from the cash crunch occasioned by the CBN’s naira redesign policy, which culminated in scarcity of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes and rejection of the old ones by businesses, President Buhari had, in a national broadcast on Thursday, declared that the old N500 and N1,000 notes had ceased to be legal tender while directing the CBN to recirculate the old N200 notes to alleviate the cash scarcity.

Since then, there have been speculations over whether or not the old N500 and N1,000 notes would return into circulation soon, even as the country awaits the verdict of the Supreme Court in the suit filed against the Federal Government and the CBN by the governments of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi States, who have now been joined by several other states, challenging the implementation of the naira redesign policy.

Last week, the apex court adjourned hearing on the substantive suit to Wednesday, February 22, after having, on February 8, granted an interim injunction stopping the Federal Government and the CBN from implementing the February 10 deadline for the old notes to lose validity.

But now, the CBN said it is sticking to the president’s directives, asking Nigerians to ignore the purveyors of fake news.

“The bank is working with the law enforcement agencies to investigate, apprehend and prosecute the purveyors of this fake news,” the CBN said.

“Please be guided accordingly,” it said.