By Olufemi Adebayo.
Following the intervention of the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and other governors, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has made a temporary ruling on Wednesday, suspending the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) deadline for withdrawing old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes from circulation.
The development has thrown the country into a nationwide jubilation in gratitude to governor Bello and his counterparts, as the deadline, scheduled for Friday, February 10th, has now been put on hold.
The CBN policy has caused a great deal of tension and unrest across the country, resulting in widespread protests, destruction of banks and properties, shooting of civilians, and an increase in charges for Point of Sale (POS) services. In recent weeks, the scarcity of naira has caused a number of significant issues, including market women finding it difficult to trade, people fainting in banks due to long wait times, and even a decline in online banking services.
One of the main problems with the CBN policy is the scarcity of naira, which has caused widespread frustration and anger among the population. This has led to an increase in charges for POS services, with some providers now charging as much as 20-40% more to withdraw naira. This has made it even more difficult for people to access their money and has added to the stress and anxiety they are already feeling.
In addition to the increase in charges, the shortage of naira has also caused serious problems for businesses across the country. Market women, who rely on their daily sales to make a living, have been hit particularly hard. Many have reported finding it difficult to trade and to generate enough income to support themselves and their families. This has led to a decline in the local economy and has resulted in even more hardship for people who are already struggling.
The situation has also caused major issues for banks and financial institutions across the country. With long lines and wait times, many people have fainted while waiting to access their money. In some cases, the wait has been so long that people have given up and gone home without being able to access their funds. This has created an even greater sense of frustration and has added to the overall sense of unrest in the country.
The decline in online banking services has also caused major issues for people who depend on these services to manage their finances. With online banking services going down, people have been unable to access their accounts and have been unable to transfer funds or pay bills. This has created an even greater sense of frustration and has added to the overall sense of chaos and confusion in the country.
The CBN policy has caused so much tension and disruption in the country that it is difficult to see how it can be resolved in the short term. With protests spreading across various states, shootings of civilians, and businesses failing, the situation is becoming increasingly critical. It is clear that something needs to be done to address the problems caused by the policy, and to restore stability and security to the country.
The deadline suspension decision was made in response to a suit filed by Governors Yahaya Bello, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.
The governors had requested a temporary order to stop the CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime from continuing with the Naira redesign policy.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the governors claimed that the demonetization policy was in violation of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, the Nigerian Constitution, and other relevant laws.
They argued that the three-month notice issued by the CBN, with the authorization of the President, was a blatant violation of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, which requires reasonable notice to be given.
In their ex parte motion, the governors also asked the court to declare that the federal government, acting through the CBN, lacked the authority to set a deadline for accepting and redeeming banknotes issued by the bank, with the exception of the circumstances described in Section 22(1) of the CBN Act 2007.
The ruling has been met with mixed reactions from Nigerians. While some commend the Governors for taking a stand against the CBN and President Buhari’s regime, others are skeptical about the implications of this ruling on the economy and financial stability of the country.
Regardless of their stance, the temporary suspension of the CBN’s deadline has sparked a nationwide conversation about the demonetization policy and the role of the government and the CBN in managing the country’s economy. It remains to be seen what the outcome of this case will be and how it will affect the future of Nigeria’s financial system.