Business operators in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja say they are anxious to hear from President Muhammadu Buhari and/or the Central Bank over validity of old Naira notes.
The business operators were reacting to the Supreme Court ruling that the old N500 and N1000 notes remained legal tender till Dec. 31.
They, however, said it was risky to accept the notes until directive from either the Presidency or the CBN.
They said their decision was borne out of the controversy that followed a similar Supreme Court pronouncement that was not adhered to.
A taxi driver, Mr Abubakar Umar, said he was hopeful that Buhari or the CBN Governro Godwin Emefiele would speak within the week on whether or not they should go ahead and accept those old notes.
He said until such directive was given, he would insist that customers paid him only with new N500 or N1000 notes.
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A petty trader, simply identified as Madam Uloma, also said that she won’t accept the old notes, saying “until I hear from the horse’s mouth I will not collect the old notes”.
Uloma said she would not want to go through the stress she went through when the notes were declared invalid by the CBN.
A resident, Mr Fred Oyibo, said he was excited when the pronouncement validating the use of the old notes was made by the Supreme Court.
Oyibo, however, expressed dissapointment that he could not use the old notes he had, adding that business operators are still rejecting them in spite of the ruling.
“I have about N3000 of the old N1000 notes with me and I felt elated when the court gave the ruling, but to my dismay the money was rejected when I went out to buy a few items.
“I tried informing them that the ban had been lifted by the Supreme Court and they asked if the CBN had spoken.
“I further tried to educate them that once the Supreme Court gives a ruling, everyone was bound by it but they insisted on hearing from the Executive before taking any action.
“At that point I got discouraged and went back home, and as I speak with you I still have the money with me,” he said.
NAN reports that following the redesigning of N200, N500 and N1,000 notes by the CBN on, Jan. 31 was announced as deadline for use of the old notes.
The Jan. 31 deadline was, however, met with protests from Nigerians, forcing the CBN to extend the deadline to Feb. 10.
The extension was equally met with outrage, leading to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that the old N200 note should be used alongside the redesigned one for a period of time.
Meanwhile, governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States had approached the Supreme Court on Feb. 3, requesting that the extention should be beyond Feb. 10 as announced by the CBN.
Following the suit, a seven-member panel of the apex court, led by John Okoro, gave the order suspending the Feb. 10 deadline till Feb. 15, when the suit would be determined.
The case was however not determined on Feb. 15 as it was adjourned till Feb. 22 and subsequently to March 3, when judgment was delivered.
In the judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that all the old denominations, including the N500 and N1000 notes, remained valid till Dec. 31.