Many Nigerians across the country are confused over the prevailing situation with the redesigned higher denominations of the naira banknotes.
Following a Supreme Court order that restrained the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria from enforcing the February 10 deadline for circulation and acceptability of the old naira notes last week and silence of the CBN over the issue, Nigerians have been left to their choice on which to respect or not.
While some interpret the silence of the CBN to mean that it stands by its directive to the banks on the currency swap, others, especially some northern governors, are enforcing the Supreme Court judgment.
Although the Supreme Court ruling on old notes has not been quashed, some banks, supermarkets and commercial vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders are no longer collecting the old notes, raising the question of which policy direction Nigerians are now following.
Governors Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and his Kano State counterpart Umar Ganduje are among those enforcing the Supreme Court ruling in the North.
Governor Ganduje is enforcing it with his police. He reportedly shut a mall for refusing old notes in the Kano metropolis yesterday.
In places like Makurdi, the Benue State capital because the new notes are not easily available, small businesses and individuals are still accepting old notes and doing transactions with the old Naira notes.
In Abuja, the nation’s capital, most commercial drivers and motorcyclists are no longer accepting the old banknotes (N200, N500 and N1000) as legal tenders for transactions.
Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi and Matawalle of Zamfara had dragged the federal government and the central bank to Supreme Court to stop enforcement of the February deadline for the currency swap policy if the apex bank.