Three days after, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are yet to respond to the Supreme Court ruling making the old naira notes legal tender until December 31, 2023.
The apex court gave the ruling on Friday, nullifying Federal Government’s decision to stop the old N500 and N1,000 notes being legal tender, which took effect on February 10.
Nearly a month after majority of the old notes were mopped out of circulation, the challenge of cash squeeze persists, as new notes have remained elusive.
Following widespread condemnation of the policy and its accompanying pains on Nigerians, President Buhari addressed Nigerians on February 16, directing that the old N200 be returned into circulation to alleviate the hardship faced by citizens.
However, on Friday, a seven-member Supreme Court panel nullified the policy, faulting government’s handling of the process and declaring its methodology and implementation unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court ruled that though the President had authority to act as the federation’s executive, he was still required to give the federating units adequate notice before implementing the new monetary policy through CBN.
The court said that before the old naira notes were withdrawn, the states had not received reasonable notice as required by section 20(3) of the CBN Act.
As a result, the Supreme Court ruled in its lead decision, read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, that Buhari’s authorisation for the CBN to withdraw the old banknotes was illegal.
As at yesterday evening, the Presidency was yet to react to the ruling, despite issuing three press statements on other matters yesterday. Also, there is yet no word from the CBN in reaction to the ruling.
President Buhari, who is presently attending a United Nations (UN) conference on least development countries in Qatar, had charged Chadian warlords and leaders of the various political factions in Chad to show restraint and patriotism by immersing themselves in the ongoing transition to democracy in the country.
He also charged the Flying Eagles to win the ongoing CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt as Nigeria prepares to face The Gambia today in the semifinals of the competition. He had earlier also sympathised with the former First Lady, Maryam Abacha, and her entire family on the death of their son, Abdullahi.
Meanwhile, business operators, yesterday, said they are anxious to hear from President Buhari or the CBN over validity of the old notes, noting that it was risky to accept the notes until there is a directive from either the Presidency or CBN.
They said their decision was borne out of the controversy that followed a similar Supreme Court pronouncement that was not adhered to.
In a survey in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a taxi driver, Abubakar Umar, said he was hopeful that President Buhari or the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, would speak within the week on whether or not they should go ahead and accept the old notes. He said until such directive was given, he would insist that customers paid him only with new N500 or N1,000 notes.
A petty trader, simply identified as Madam Uloma, also said that she won’t accept the old notes, saying “until I hear from the horse’s mouth, I will not collect the old notes.”
Uloma said she would not want to go through the stress she went through when the notes were declared invalid by CBN.
A resident, Fred Oyibo, said he was excited when the pronouncement validating use of old notes was made by the Supreme Court. He, however, expressed disappointment that he could not use the old notes he had, adding that business operators are still rejecting them in spite of the ruling.
“I have about N3,000 of the old N1,000 notes with me and I felt elated when the court gave the ruling, but to my dismay the money was rejected when I went out to buy a few items.
“I tried informing them that the ban had been lifted by the Supreme Court and they asked if the CBN had spoken. I further tried to educate them that once the Supreme Court gives a ruling, everyone was bound by it but they insisted on hearing from the Presidency before taking any action.
“At that point I got discouraged and went back home, and as I speak with you, I still have the money with me,” he said.
President is not a magician, says Remi Tinubu
The first lady, Oluremi Tinubu, says her husband, President Bola Tinubu, would not wave a magic wand and solve all of the country’s problems in a flash.
The first lady said this on Sunday during an inter-denominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day.
She said her husband inherited the current challenges in the country, adding that the president is determined to fix them rather than blame past leaders.
“All we inherited are things that had happened many years ago. We are not here to put blame on any administration but to fix what has been damaged,” she said.
“My husband is not a magician. He is going to work and I believe and hope that we will have peace in this country. The best is yet to come to us.
“Good governance can only be impactful if the people follow the example of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who embodied the fruit of the spirit, including love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance and forgiveness.
“A Nigeria of abundance has begun, and to be part of the greatness that God has started in the nation, Nigerians must look beyond their current realities and embrace hope anew.”
Also speaking at the event, George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), urged Nigerians to remain patient, adding that measures are being put in place to provide solutions to the problems bedevilling the country.
“Solutions to Nigeria’s complex problems can never be as instant as expected. It will take some time, but measures are already being put in place to address them,” Akume said.
Lagos to clampdown on illegal dredging operation, reads riot act
Determined to end illegal dredging activities in the state, the Lagos State government has vowed to stop all illegal dredging operations and flush out those operating without a government’s permit in the dredging sector from the state.
The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu disclosed this during a meeting with the members of the executive council of the Dredgers’ Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter.
The meeting was called to seek the cooperation of the association in enforcing guidelines regulating dredging activities and to declare Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s zero tolerance for illegal dredging operations in the state.
According to the Commissioner, though the meeting is a familiarization forum to interact with members of the association and get first-hand information on how dredging activities could be improved upon with the view to maintaining the state’s waterfronts and prevent environmental degradation.
While soliciting their support in sanitizing dredging activities in the state, Bush-Alebiosu disclosed that the state would not condone the spate of illegal dredging activities being carried out in every nooks and crannies of the state.
Bush-Alebiosu also expressed the readiness of government officials to begin enforcement activities soon and that anybody caught violating dredging laws and regulations of the state would be prosecuted.
He therefore urged them to obtain all necessary permits and regularize their operations immediately.
He assured them of the government’s readiness to stand by the association in carrying out their lawful activities and also support them in all they do to ensure good waterfronts in Lagos State.
UN appeals to Lagos to allocate certain percentage of contracts to women-owned businesses
In his remarks, Mr Kehinde Gbajumo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry expressed his delight that the state executive members of the association were present at the meeting, saying this would go a long way in conveying the views of the state government to their members.
Gbajumo noted that dredging activities in the state are “no longer business as usual,” adding that the ministry is now all out to enforce the laws regulating dredging activities, he also enjoined them to comply with the guidelines.
In his response, the President of the Dredgers Association of Nigeria, Mr Bature Akpomejero pledged their support and cooperation to the state government in getting rid of illegal dredgers in the state.
He solicited the support of the ministry for proper regularization of dredging activities to curb the activities of illegal dredgers and their impact on the environment.
Akpomejero also urged the ministry to look into the issue of overloading of trucks by dredgers and those moving wet sand on the roads, which cause a lot of damage to our roads.
The secretary general of the association, Richard Ntan, also lent his voice; assuring the ministry of maximum cooperation and collaboration of the association, noting that they are ready to cooperate with the government.
Ntan called for more such meetings with the ministry to be able to iron out grey areas affecting their operations while fashioning out areas of mutual benefit between dredgers and the state government.
The dredging operation terms and conditions were later distributed to the members of the association to further enlighten them on their obligations to the state.
Nigeria@63: God will heal our land – Pastor Adeboye
Pastor Enoch Adeboye has prayed to God to heal Nigeria, asking citizens to also pray for the betterment of the nation.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said this on Sunday during the church’s October Thanksgiving Service and Nigeria’s 63rd Independent Day celebration.
Pastor Adeboye spoke on the topic ‘Freedom Indeed’ during the service.
“I pray in the name that is above every other name that God will heal our nation,” the preacher said.
“Independence is talking about freedom, that is why we would be talking about freedom indeed. You may be enjoying independence from the colonial master and still be a slave to sickness, poverty, terror, and forces of darkness,” he added.
“I am wishing you a very good celebration but more than anything else, I wish all of you who are in Christ freedom and freedom indeed.”
In many churches across the nation, the Christians marked Independence Day with praises and prayers for the country.
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