Transactions in the old N1,000 and N500 notes saw a renewed surge around Nigeria, Wednesday, as people became better informed and confident, following statements on Monday by the Central Bank and the Federal Government, reafirming the revalidation of both notes in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling.
The N1,000 and N500 demonination of currency notes had been earlier invalidated by the Federal Government in a currency redesign exercise by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which decision was soon upturned by the Supreme Court.
Reports reaching the Nigerian Observer indicate that the initial doubt and reluctance toward transacting in the said currencies was fast fizzling out and translating into general acceptance across the country on Thursday.
In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub it is reported that traders, transporters and other channels who would not transact in the currencies on Tuesday, had mostly had a change of heart, following further information and the activities of banks and wholesalers who willingly accepted and disbursed the currencies.
In banks across Lagos State, the N1,000 and N500 were being disbursed and accepted by tellers. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were likewise disbursing the notes.
The same was the case in Abuja, according to reports.
In Benin City, the Edo State capital, the currencies were being freely used in the banks, retail stores and open markets. At the Ring Road transportation hub in the heart of the city, transporters who had rejected the currencies on Tuesday, were openly accepting them and announcing their readiness to do so.
In many cities though, the currencies appeared in short supply, as they had been recalled by the Central Bank following their invalidation and withdrawal from circulation weeks back.
Authoritative banking sources say that the CBN is in the process of recirculating its cache of recalled N1,000 and N500 notes across the country and that in a few days time, they should be in wide circulation.
President Buhari said in a statement made on his behalf on Monday, that at no time did he instruct the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media, said since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he had never directed anybody to defy court orders. He affirmed that democracy cannot be practiced without the rule of law and that the commitment of the administration to the principle has not changed.
Shortly after this pronouncement, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated that the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes would remain legal tender till Dec. 31.
Isa AbdulMumin, CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, said this was in compliance with the March 3 judgment of the Supreme Court.