By: Femi Akinyemi, Sikiru Obarayese, Temisan Amoye, Abisola Adigun
Following the announcement by the supreme court that the old and new naira notes can co-circulate until December 31st, 2023, Tribune Online correspondents went around the streets of Osun, Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan and also sampled the thoughts of netizens to know whether this order has alleviated the difficulties caused by the cash crunch and naira redesign policy.
Most Nigerians said even though the Supreme Court order offers a great sense of relief, they are yet to experience the implementation of the order. Some insisted that they had not received or spent the old naira notes.
A local businessman, Mr. Innocent Azuka, expressed scepticism about the decision, saying the Supreme Court judgment was a relief considering the unavailability of cash.
Mrs Oyinlola, a market trader in Ibadan, said, “I am happy about the outcome of the decision. I welcome the decision wholeheartedly. But I am not sure whether it will be implemented.”
“So we are waiting for the decision of Buhari and Emefiele on what to do after the decision of the court,” Mrs Oyinlola said.
Mr Clement, a shop owner who is also awaiting the decision of President Buhari, retorted:
“ I know the judgment has been made by the Supreme Court. But I think it’s left for the president.
“This won’t be the first time the court has announced a result, but the president comes out to say another thing. I am waiting for him to say something.”
In Lagos, Suleiman, a POS agent, said despite the conclusion of the presidential election and the Supreme Court’s judgement, getting cash is still hard to come by, so he has had to resort to transferring funds for his suppliers. But still, not all suppliers collect transfer transactions.
Another Lagos Resident, George, says he’s not optimistic about the Supreme Court order, noting that people have deposited the old Naira notes in their possession, and banks have yet to release them into circulation.
He said, “I don’t think the scarcity will ease with the governorship elections very close. Maybe it might after then”
An Abuja resident, Pelumi Fasoyin, told Tribune online it is hard to get cash from banks and ATMs, while POS operators are charging people outrageously to withdraw cash.
Similarly, a net citizen @Samuelachema, lamented, “We don’t even have the old or new notes.
@EmmanuelHyacinth tweeted, “We are waiting for the president to declare it legal. Please let him not waste time.
A bank official said, “Banks in Nigeria are heavily regulated, and we only listen to what the CBN says.” “Despite the ruling, we still need to hear from our regulator,” he said. We all know what the President has said on the matter. The CBN takes its orders from the Presidency. “I am sure any action by CBN would be a directive from the President.”
As of the time this report was written, neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the Governor of the Central Bank had made an official statement to agree with the Supreme Court’s decision about the circulation of both new and old naira notes.
Also, you might remember that the Nigerian Tribune wrote about how some public figures criticized the president for going against an earlier Supreme Court ruling that let both the old and new naira notes be used before the presidential elections.
Salihu Lukman, the North West National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, asked Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to step down on March 3, 2023.