Old Naira Notes Legal Tender Till Dec 31 – CBN; Peter Obi Challenges Tinubu’s Victory Process | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Old Naira Notes Legal Tender Till Dec 31 – CBN
  • Lagos to Penalize Banks Rejecting Old Naira Notes, Urges Reporting
  • Peter Obi Challenges Tinubu’s Victory Process
  • FG Introduces New Speedy Passport Service, Adjusts Fees
  • BVAS configuration: INEC imputing wrong figures – Dino Melaye alleges

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Old Naira Notes Legal Tender Till Dec 31 – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

Isa Abdulmumin, the CBN spokesperson, announced the development in a statement on Monday evening.

“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023,” the statement reads.

“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.

“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”

Two weeks ago, the supreme court invalidated the naira redesign policy introduced by the CBN, citing defective timing and implementation.

Delivering judgment in a suit instituted by three states of the federation, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender until the end of the year.

Lagos to Penalize Banks Rejecting Old Naira Notes, Urges Reporting

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has issued a stern warning to businesses operating in the state, stating that any business that refuses to accept old naira notes will be subjected to heavy sanctions. This comes after he had instructed all state agencies not to reject payments made with the old currency.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that all Lagosians should feel free to use old naira notes for commercial purposes. He added that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), during a recent Bankers’ Committee meeting on Sunday, directed banks to resume accepting old notes in compliance with a Supreme Court verdict.

The governor warned that any bank branch that fails to comply with the directive will be shut down immediately and reported to the apex bank. Furthermore, he urged Lagos residents to report any non-compliant bank to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA).

In the statement, Governor Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the difficulties faced by Lagosians over the naira redesign crisis and empathized with them, urging them to report any difficulties in using the old currency to the relevant authorities.

“I discussed with top officials in CBN who assured me that commercial banks were directed to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes as deposits and pay them out for withdrawals. They informed me that commercial banks got the directive at a Bankers Committee meeting on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

“I, therefore, urge you to go ahead and have transactions with the old notes. Lagosians should feel free to use the old notes for commercial purposes.

“Retailers, transporters, traders, and all businesses must not reject them, as they remain legal tender, following the Supreme Court verdict, which extends the validity of the notes to December 31, 2023.”

“Any business that fails to collect the notes will be heavily sanctioned. I, therefore, advise Lagos residents to freely accept and transact their businesses with the old currency notes (N200; N500; and N1,000) as well as the new notes.

“If any bank refuses to accept deposits of old notes, please lodge a complaint with the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) via these numbers; 08124993895, 09064323154, 08092509777.

“The Lagos State Government will report the bank to the CBN and immediately shut down the offending branch.

“I thank you so much and assure you that all this too shall pass as the authorities are working to ensure that the teething problems of the redesigning of our currency are resolved.”

Peter Obi Challenges Tinubu’s Victory Process

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi has said he is challenging Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.

Obi, while appearing on Arise TV on Monday, claimed he was not interested in challenging the “outcome” of the election.

The former Governor of Anambra insisted he wants to contest the process leading to INEC’s declaration of Tinubu as the president-elect.

“Following my response to a question while appearing on Arise TV earlier today, I want to state categorically that at the Presidential Elections Tribunal (PET), I am challenging the INEC electoral process that led to the declaration of Tinubu as president-elect as well as the declaration itself,” Obi tweeted

Tinubu was declared the winner of the election on March 1.

Obi has since gone to court, alleging irregularities by the electoral commission.

Consequently, the Appeal Court granted leave to access all the sensitive materials used for the election.

FG Introduces New Speedy Passport Service, Adjusts Fees

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have agreed to a new framework to improve the service quality, accuracy, and speed of passport services in the country.

This, per the agency, would be accomplished through the timely verification of the National Identification Number (NIN).

This new arrangement is aimed at streamlining passport application, renewal, and issuance processes as directed by the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, according to a statement signed and made available on Monday by Kayode Adegoke, NIMC’s Head of Corporate Communications.

According to the new arrangement, applicants would be required to pay for each Nigerian passport.

“The applicable NIN verification fee is N1000 for Nigeria, for African countries it is $5.00 (or it’s equivalent in other currencies) while other countries will pay $15.00 (or its equivalent in other countries),” the statement said.

“The NIN service, fees, and the new NIS process will go live on 1st April 2023.”

BVAS configuration: INEC imputing wrong figures – Dino Melaye alleges

Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of transferring incorrect data to the backend server.

Melaye, a spokesman for Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate in the just-concluded election on February 25, revealed this on Monday via a tweet.

As the commission transfers election results to the backend server, he said his party would expose any incorrect imputations and changes in figures.

Recall that the Electoral Commission recently received permission from the Court to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in preparation for the March 18 gubernatorial election.

The former lawmaker stated, however, that they would shock INEC and its ICT department.

“INEC is doing the wrong thing, the wrong imputation going on. We will expose any wrong imputation and figures changing as upload and backend transfer is going on. We will shock INEC and the ICT department. Jail loading for many,” he tweeted.

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