By Lydia Ngwakwe
Some traders and marketers in Lagos have said they would accept the old denominated naira notes of N500 and N1,000, only when President Muhammadu Buhari gives the order.
The people told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that they were being careful and at the same time, waiting for the Central Bank Governor and Buhari to speak on the issue.
They also said that the time frame given by the Supreme Court will allow the apex bank to print enough of the new notes and circulate to banks for people to use.
Mr Barnabas Israel, a food Vendor at Ori-Oke, Ejigbo, doubted if the old naira notes were still available in the banks, saying that Nigerians have already deposited all in the banks.
“Is there any old notes outside after everybody has deposited the one they had?
“However, no one has brought the old notes to my shop, and if they do, I will not collect it because no one is collecting it in my area,’’ he said.
Mrs Paulina Akuneme, a Baker at Ili-ewe, Ikotun-Egbe, also spoke in the same vein, saying “I do not need the old notes again after what I passed through to deposit the notes the first time that the authority pronounced it had expired.
“What I expected the Supreme Court to have done was to order the Central Bank to print more of the new notes and make it available for people to see and use.
“Nigerians have moved on. I can assure you that we are still going to experience this difficulty by December,’’ she said.
Alhaji Musa Jamiu, a yam seller in Liasu market, also said he would not collect the old notes until the president said so.
“Is it the Supreme court that own the Central Bank or print the currency, it is the central bank and the Federal Government that can do so and put them into circulation.
“It is until they choose to obey the Supreme Court order, the Supreme Court order is null and void as far as I know.
“Do you not know that the N200 note is in circulation because the federal government and the central bank say it should be, so the notes were brought back in circulation,’’ he said.
The Supreme Court on March 3, ordered that the old naira notes should remain as legal tender till Dec. 31.
It also nullified the Federal Government’s Naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement, held that the preliminary objections by the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states) are dismissed as the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Citing Section 23(2)1 of the constitution, the court held that the dispute between the Federal Government and states must involve law or facts.