A government official has added fuel to the fire by saying that the federal government has not yet decided whether or not to extend the deadline for the usage of old naira notes.
This was said by Garba Shehu, a spokeswoman for President Muhammadu Buhari, in a short statement given to the media on Tuesday evening.
Due to the pending issue before the Supreme Court, we feel it necessary to clarify that neither the Federal Government nor the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN have taken any preemptive action on the legitimacy of cash as legal tender.
After tomorrow’s court hearing, “the stance of the government and the CBN will be made clear,” he added.
It was reported by News men on Tuesday that the Supreme Court will resume hearings on Wednesday in a case brought by three state governments against the federal government.
The federal government has refused to allow the use of both the old and new naira notes, and the state governments have asked the Supreme Court to order them to do so.
The federal government was supposed to stop accepting the old notes by February 10, but the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order last week.
Despite the paucity of the new naira notes and the Supreme Court judgement, most banks and businesses have ceased recognising the old notes as lawful money.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said on Tuesday that notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s order, the 10 February deadline will not be extended.
The CBN is being sued by the states separately. But Abubakar Malami, the Federation’s attorney general, has petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse its earlier decision and throw out the state governments’ lawsuit.
Nigerians are still struggling due to a lack of fresh naira notes when the Supreme Court hears the case on Wednesday.