Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says the old and new notes remain legal tender in the state pending the supreme court’s decision.
In a televised address on Thursday morning, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days.
The president also said all existing old N1,000 and N500 notes will remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points for 60 days.
This came less than 24 hours after the supreme court insisted that the old notes were still valid, and adjourned the case filed by several states — including Kaduna — challenging the deadline on the old notes till February 22.
In a broadcast on Thursday, El-Rufai said all the old notes would remain legal tender until the apex court determines the suit on the matter.
He also assured residents of the state of efforts to ease the hardship caused by the scarcity of naira notes.
“On behalf of the government of Kaduna state, I wish to express my deepest regret at the needless suffering you are enduring as a result of the prolonged fuel shortage and the difficulties occasioned by the so-called ‘currency redesign’ policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” El-Rufai said.
“We understand your pain. I assure you that as your state governor, I have been working with my other colleagues to do everything in our power to end these pains.
“Therefore, as your governor, I wish to assure you that the Kaduna state government, in collaboration with elected legislators, traditional institution, elected local government councils, markets, and traders associations will help you collect, record, document, collate and deliver all your old notes to the Kaduna branch of the Central Bank on your behalf into the new ones immediately after the elections.
“We will also ensure the delivery of your new notes to your various locations without any hardship or expense on your part. We shall save you any panic and the stress of a long journey from your community to the CBN office in our state capital, from March until December 2023 if need be.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all the old and new notes shall remain in use as legal tender in Kaduna State until the Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise.
“I therefore appeal to all residents of Kaduna state to continue to use the old and new notes side by side without any fear.
“The Kaduna state government and its agencies shall seal any facility that refuses to accept the old notes as legal tender and prosecute the owners. If need be, we shall take further consequential actions according to the law.
“While urging you all not to fall for these antics of the enemies of Nigeria, please be patient and continue to exercise resilience in the face of open provocation and deliberate disinformation.”