Some sort of relief might have been botched for Nigerians groaning under the pain caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.
The Supreme Court following an ex-parte motion filed by the Governor of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states has issued an order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from enforcing the February 10 deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes.
The Governors dragged the CBN and the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, seeking a halt to the full implementation of the naira redesign policy initiated by the apex bank.
A five-member panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro had that it was a matter of urgent national importance that the court intervene and grant the order.
The order, according to Justice Okoro, who read the lead ruling, is to subsist pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the state for interlocutory injunctions.
The court adjourned till February 15 for the hearing of the motion on notice and the preliminary objection filed by the defendant – the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), challenging the court’s jurisdiction over the case.
In a related development, All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has hailed the Governors of the 36 states for standing on the side of the Nigerian people over the Central Bank’s new Naira and cashless policies that have subjected the masses to pains.
According to Asiwaju Tinubu, the Governors especially the APC Governors who instituted the suit against the CBN and Federal Government at the Supreme Court acted well on behalf of the hapless Nigerians who have been made to bear the brunt of Naira redesign policy that has been poorly implemented
Following the apex court ruling, Asiwaju Tinubu noted that the governors have saved the country from a needless political and economic crises and miseries which have clearly become the unintended consequences of the monetary policy of the apex bank.
Asiwaju Tinubu noted that the Supreme Court ruling coincided with the advisory of the International Monetary Fund urging for the extension of the deadline for the swap of the old naira notes, going by the problems being experienced across the country in getting the new notes.
“I want to salute the courage of our Governors and most especially the Progressives Governors in APC who acted to save our country from avoidable and dangerous political crises and social unrest which the Central Bank policy on new Naira notes has brought on our country.
“Our country was dangerously careering toward anarchy and political and economic shutdown. But with the Supreme Court interim ruling, our country has been pulled back from the precipice. We thank our Supreme Court Justices for ruling wisely on the side of the people who have been subjected to undue agony and pains since this policy was announced.
“The Federal Government and relevant stakeholders can now sit down and work out better framework on how to proceed with the new policy without causing any social and economic disruption and inconvenience to our people. We have examples of other countries that have successfully and seamlessly changed their currencies to learn from.
“Those countries give a long time, at least 12 months to effect the currency change. They do not engage in CBN-like Fire Brigade approach.
“We have seen how a good policy can be poorly implemented to cause unintended problems for the people who should be the beneficiaries. While lessons have been learnt, we must now move on as a country and people with a Renewed Hope for a better tomorrow.
“The sole aim of my running to be the president of our country is to make life better and more abundant for our people and this is an ideal for which I will remain eternally committed to.”
Asiwaju Tinubu called on the CBN to ensure that the Supreme Court ruling is effectively executed by taking all necessary steps to (i) ensure sufficient availability of Naira notes (whether old or new) and (ii) properly sensitising the public on the ruling and the consequent validity of old Naira.