Naira Scarcity: Nigerian Civil Society Groups Reject Supreme Court Ruling, Cite Constitutional Default
In response to the Supreme Court ruling, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) has released a statement rejecting the court’s decision to suspend the implementation of the Friday, February 10 deadline for making old N200, N500, and N1000 notes illegal tender. The CSO argued that the Supreme Court only intervenes when there is a constitutional dispute between the Federal Government and the states.
Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states had filed an exparte order before the court asking for an interim injunction of the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Counsel to the 3 states, M.I Mustapha, argued that the policy is fast turning Nigeria into a state of anarchy that may halt the existence of the Supreme Court itself. Mustapha also argued that CBN statistics showed that over 60 per cent of Nigerians are unbanked while Nigerians with bank accounts could not have access to their money because of the new policy.
The CSO further argued that the dispute between the Federal Government and the states is not a constitutional issue, but an issue of policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The statement released by the CSO has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to reconsider its stance on the naira redesign policy and to ensure that the policy does not lead to further naira scarcity in the country. The CSO has also called on the government to take into consideration the fact that the 2023 elections are fast approaching and the policy could have a negative effect on the voting process.
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