- CBN denies ordering banks to accept N500, N1,000 notes
- Bankers directed to sit at home in the wake of recent attacks
- Gov. Ganduje vows to destroy banks in Kano
- Dapo Abiodun encourages Ogun residents to spend old notes, avoid violence
- Buhari heeded bad counsel following Supreme Court verdict – Keyamo
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:
CBN denies ordering banks to accept N500, N1,000 notes
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has refuted a previous claim that it instructed commercial banks to begin collecting old N500 and N1000 notes from customers.
According to a story that went viral on Thursday, the CBN has capped the amount that commercial banks may collect at N500,000.
Osita Nwanisobi, Director of Corporate Communication at the leading bank, deemed the story to be false.
The CBN has only instructed banks to distribute the old N200 note, as authorized by President Muhammadu Buhari, according to a statement the apex bank released.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to ONLY reissue and recirculates the old N200 banknotes 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 Central Bank of Nigeria on this subject”, the statement added.
Bankers directed to sit at home in the wake of recent attacks
Friday, the Association of Senior Staff of Banking, Insurance, and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) urged its members to avoid banking facilities in light of recent violent attacks.
Olusoji Oluwaole, the national president of ASSBIFI, advised members to avoid bank premises till normality is restored in impacted states.
In Delta, Edo, and Lagos States, Nigerians engaged in violent demonstrations and bank attacks in response to the new Naira policy and money shortage.
Several banks were burned, along with their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
In response to the demonstration, the ATUC requested the government to safeguard its members near commercial banks.
A statement by Oluwaole reads: “The National Secretariat has been inundated with reports of threats and attacks on lives and properties of members and bank branches and subsequently has been on the field to monitor and confirm the reports.
“We issued warnings and appeals to the government to provide security measures for the safety of lives and properties of our members within and around the bank premises, but regrettably, the attacks have continued without any form of security for the safety of our Members, and the recent being the attack today Friday 17th February 2023 on one bank branch at Epe, Lagos State.
“We cannot leave the lives and properties of our Members exposed to obvious danger.
“Consequently, All Members Should Today Immediately Stay Away from Work in any State where bank branches are attacked. This is to continue every day until normalcy is restored.”
Gov. Ganduje vows to destroy banks in Kano
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has warned that commercial banks operating in the state will be destroyed if they continue to reject customers who deposit outdated N500 and N1,000 notes.
Ganduje made the warning on Friday as he reviewed the distribution of palliatives to civilians to mitigate the consequences of the cashless regime.
President Muhammadu Buhari instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in a countrywide broadcast on Thursday to maintain both the old and new N200 notes in circulation to mitigate the suffering caused by the cashless policy.
Buhari stated that the old N500 and N1000 notes are no longer legal tender and must be removed from circulation.
Nevertheless, Governor Ganduje is one of the All Progressives Congress, APC governors that openly opposed President Buhari’s directions and accused him of attempting to curtail the democratic process.
“Any bank that refuses to accept old five hundred and one thousand Naira notes will be destroyed. We will not tolerate such disobedience from any financial institution operating within our jurisdiction,” the Governor said on Friday.
Governor Ganduje further disclosed that the space of the destroyed banks would be used for building schools, “We will convert the space of the destroyed banks into schools that will provide quality education for our children.”
Dapo Abiodun encourages Ogun residents to spend old notes, avoid violence
The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on the people and residents of the state to continue spending the old Naira notes, saying that it is only the Supreme Court of Nigeria that has the final say in the matter.
Abiodun who made the call in Abeokuta during an engagement with the by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement that the status quo should remain, hence the need for the people to continue with the old notes.
“There is a court order from the Supreme Court, the highest court in our land that says the status quo should be maintained on the matter of this new naira. So, I appeal to you not to be violent, but go ahead and spend the old naira notes.
“I want to apologize for the level of hardship that all of us are facing at this point in time in this country. I want you to know that as your governor, I have no hand in it, neither do I or any of our colleagues have any part to play in this,” he said.
Speaking further on the issue of the cash crunch currently ravaging the country, the governor maintained that though the redesigning of the naira is the obligation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, its implementation was not well outlined to ensure that the people get value for their money paid back into the banks.
The state helmsman, while noting that the cashless policy and a redesigning policy are two separate exclusive policies that are not meant to be implemented together, said the governors are doing their best to bring the situation under control.
“As good and laudable as the policy is, we are shocked at its implementation. Why should we want to redesign the naira which of course is the right of the CBN, and then turn it into a sort of cash confiscation policy?
“When you want to redesign the naira, you have an obligation to ensure that every naira that is taken, you give the same value back, that becomes your obligation because it is your choice to redesign the naira.
“Nobody says you cannot have a cashless policy, but a cashless policy and a redesign policy are two separate exclusive policies that are not meant to be implemented together”, Abiodun stated
He reiterated his earlier warning to close down and revoke the C of O of commercial outfits that reject the old note.
“If I catch any merchant, supermarket, or filling station in Ogun State that is not accepting the old naira notes until the determination of the suit before the Supreme Court, I will close that shop and revoke their certificates of occupancy,” he said.
Buhari heeded bad counsel following Supreme Court verdict – Keyamo
Festus Keyamo, the spokesman for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, stated that he disagrees with President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on the new naira notes.
Buhari supported the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to purge outdated currencies, but only the old N200 was permitted for re-circulation.
Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, remarked that the Nigerian leader may have acted based on bad advice following the Supreme Court’s decision.
“The President acted honestly without intention to slight the Supreme Court. But he may have acted on wrong advice,” he said on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Friday.
The Minister of State (Labour) said though he does not know who advised the President, he was speaking out because people will later ask “where I stood at this time”.
The controversial naira redesign policy of the CBN has led to violent protests, the burning of banks, and the destruction of Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, in some states.