Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Supreme Court suspends banknote deadline in Nigeria

Nigeria's Supreme Court has temporarily suspended Friday's deadline to stop using old banknotes, which had caused a cash crisis in the country.

Many banks have not had enough of the new naira notes, leading to desperate and chaotic scenes as people tried to get their hands on them.

Videos were shared of people stripping in banks in protest and fights at ATMs.

The chaos led to concern that it could affect this month's elections, as many Nigerians do not have bank accounts.

The head of the election commission said some election service providers will need to be paid in cash, and that could prove to be difficult.

The Central Bank said the currency redesign would help it tackle inflation, which is currently running at about 21%.

The bank said 80% of the notes currently in circulation were being held outside financial institutions. It hoped the redesign would bring some of that money being hoarded by individuals and companies back into the financial system, and so stop prices from rising so quickly.

The case, which was brought by the northern states of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, has been adjourned to 15 February.

By Cecilia Macaulay, BBC

Related stories: Nigeria should consider extending banknote swap deadline according to IMF

States challenge central bank cash swap deadline in Nigeria


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