Nigerians await CBN’s next move on Naira redesign as the apex bank seeks legal advice

The CBN would make its position on the matter known but it is awaiting legal advice
Nigerians await CBN's next move on Naira redesign as the apex bank seeks legal advice
Godwin Emefiele with President Buhari Source: The Cable

It has been a very eventful week in the Nigerian social space, with the Supreme Court ruling on CBN’s Naira redesign policy. The apex court has declared that the old and new Naira notes can coexist together until the old 200, 500, and 1000 Naira notes stop being legal tender at the end of the year.

The long-awaited Presidential elections were also concluded last weekend, and the All Progressives Congress Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerged victorious. However, opposition party members have disputed the results, with INEC taking a lot of heat on social media because of how BVAS and IReV functioned during the exercise.

Nigerians are also highly interested in the upcoming gubernatorial elections scheduled for the 11th of March, with several posts discussing their preferred candidates and much more. As usual, the social media roundup curates some of the top gists that caused conversations among netizens.

The Naira redesign policy has dominated the headlines since the end of last year, with things hitting a peak in February when a cash scarcity hit the country. The CBN insisted that it was a step in the right direction to move Nigeria towards a cashless society, while others claimed it was a tool to influence the outcome of the elections.

Some state governors challenged the policy, especially the deadline to stop spending the old notes in court. The Supreme court finally declared that the old and new notes could co-exist before the old notes stopped being legal tender on the 31st of December, 2023.

Recall that the Supreme Court suspended the Naira redesign deadline earlier this year. Still, President Buhari ordered that only the old 200 notes be returned into circulation until April 10 to ease the Naira scarcity.

While Nigerians are happy with the latest Supreme Court ruling, several questions are on their minds. Will the banks release the old notes as we begin a new week? Will the CBN print more new notes to ease the cash scarcity? Will traders and merchants start to trade with the old notes after refusing to accept them as payments for weeks?

PUNCH reports that Deposit Money Banks are waiting on a CBN directive and have not communicated with their customers if the old N500 and N1,000 would be released into the economy or if the banks would only continue to release the new naira notes based on availability.

Meanwhile, a top official at the CBN told Vanguard that the apex bank would make its position on the matter known but that it was awaiting legal advice, ostensibly from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

Will you accept the old naira note?

Tinubu named President-elect, other aspirants head to court
Nigerians await CBN's next move on Naira redesign as the apex bank seeks legal advice
President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The Independent National Election Commission (INEC) declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the victor of the 2023 presidential election in the wee hours of Wednesday. The supporters of the ruling APC celebrated the victory, while several social media users alleged that the ‘people’s mandate was stolen.’

Nigerians await CBN's next move on Naira redesign as the apex bank seeks legal advice

During the week, Labour Party’s Peter Obi and People’s Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar rejected the results and declared that they would be challenging the declared results in court.

Many people have expressed support for the Labour Party candidate and have started sending out content that they say can be used as evidence in court. In the Supreme Court, six Nigerian states have filed lawsuits against the INEC and Abubakar Malami, the country’s attorney general.

It is unsure when the court cases will start, but the President-elect has moved into the Defence House in Maitama, FCT, where he will spend the next few months before moving into the Presidential Villa.

Read Also: Nigeria elections: 5 Google resources to help you play your part and stay updated

Tribalism and the upcoming governorship elections
A tribal war over the presidential and governorship election
2023 Presidential Election

The early days of the last week saw netizens degrade certain states because of the presidential candidates that recorded the most votes there. Many were judged to have voted with “tribalistic sentiments.”

As Nigerians return to the polls on Saturday, some campaigns promoting governorship candidates have been sprinkled with renewed tribalism. The latter part of the week saw the candidacy of Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour as Lagos state governor questioned because his wife and mother are of Igbo descent.

Many people believe that tribalism should not be an issue in this age. However, some have expressed their desire not to have a non-Yoruba woman as the first lady of Lagos state. Counter-arguments have suggested that it should not matter as long as the candidate is an indigene, Lagos is not a Yoruba state, and some former governors of Lagos have origins from other states.

As typical of the Nigerian social media space, netizens soon used humour to defuse the situation. A thread of “fine Igbo girls” trended during the week, and many remarks from the users (especially men) suggest that tribalism can stop being an issue in the future.

Read Also: Social media birthed a youthful ‘Obidient Movement’; it may have changed Nigerian politics forever

Messi wins FIFA best player award

Lionel Messi received the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award for the second time in his career on February 27. The 35-year-old defeated French duo Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe to claim the trophy.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player is an association football award presented annually by the sport’s governing body, FIFA, since 2016 to honour the player deemed to have performed the best over the previous calendar year. This year’s award is based on players’ accomplishments between August 8, 2021, and December 18, 2022.

Messi fans took to the social space to celebrate him, especially as he is the oldest player ever to win this FIFA award. Although, some people argued that he did not deserve this award because the FIFA world cup was manipulated in favour of Argentina.

Congratulations to Lionel Messi.

That is all, guys. See you next week.

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