• Features
  • Updated: February 09, 2023

ANALYSIS: Winners And Losers Of The Supreme Court Ruling On Old Naira Notes

The dice were cast when the supreme court restrained the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks from enforcing the February 10 deadline for using old naira notes.

With the policy gaining weight in the Nigerian landscape before the court's intervention, this piece is to itemise the stakeholders who would be happy and those who would lick their wounds because of the intervention.

The winners

The naira redesign policy came into the polity with two sides of the coin.

Some liked it, while others saw zero substance in it.

Here are those who would be happy that the old notes are still valid

Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu took one of the meanest risks to criticise the government.

He is willing to succeed on a campaign trail.

When he made the allegation, the political atmosphere shook, and many took him for one of his public blunders.

In truth, he shifted the public discourse and brought the attention of the generality to the imminent deliberate attempt to scuttle the election proceedings.

Whether we want to hear it or not, Tinubu's public outburst awakenef other Nigerians to kick against the policy.

Now that there is a court injunction, he has ticked a box of applause.

The APC governors

The governors elected on the party's platform would be much happier because in their camp, they would feel they have saved the country from "avoidable and dangerous political crises" by filing the case.

And now they won the case the governors of Kaduna, Kogi Zamfara, and later Rivers would be the happiest.

They did not mince words to condemn the rashness of the policy.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the ruling would relieve the suffering caused by the CBN's "callous" and "myopic" policy.

Despite the kickbacks Nigerians have slain on the APC governors, they can, at least, repel a singular hardship on average Nigerians in eight years.

Ordinary Nigerians

The whole idea sounds strange to the ordinary masses that the naira notes stacked in their drawers and farmlands gotten through legitimate means will become illegitimate within short notice. 

So long as the crux of the policy is to curb corruption, there are Nigerians who are not corrupt but do not have their money in the bank.

It is also essential to point out that banks are only available in some parts of the country.

Nigerians in the debacle are now being vindicated.

They can now go on with their daily businesses without the fear that their money could become useless.

The Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release old and new notes to the economy following the order.

So, the old and new notes are still recognised as legal tender in Nigeria, and the victory is for all Nigerians who wouldn't cope with the new note shortages if the deadline was upheld.

The losers

The "anti-people" policy gladdens the heart of some individuals.

Therefore, they have become crusaders of the policy and have urged the government not to lessen or extend the deadline. 

Now that there is a court injunction, it remains to be seen whether or not they will be as vibrant as they have been.

Godwin Emefiele

The CBN governor maintained that there would be no extension despite the cries of Nigerians and banks revealing that they have not received the new notes, that could be enough for their customers. 

Nigerians can breathe with relief now that the CBN governor and his "not well thought out" policy can go into oblivion, at least for now.

The presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari sounded unmoved when he told Premium Times that any money one has would have been exchanged through legal means if it is legitimate within the three months window if the source of money is clean.

He should have considered that there are many kilometres and suburbs in the country without any banks, and most banks could not even get the notes. 

The president should not have upheld a policy that would punish peasants and the powerful if he genuinely meant well for Nigerians. 

Now that the court has suspended the ban, how will the Aso rock merchants feel right now?

POS Operators

Before now, there was national sympathy for POS operators in Nigeria.

A feeling of cohesion gives a native that they would not be in the condition if not for Nigeria's colossal failure. 

But the sympathy would go to rest now that the POS agents saw the naira swap window as the time they would make more money selfishly.

The pain they inflicted on Nigerians doubled the hardship the government did on its part.

They had the cash but they are doing their bits to ensure that Nigerians get it at the most exorbitant prices.

Hardly would anyone care about POS agents from today onwards.

The opposition parties

From the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, and other parties, they began to applaud the government for the naira redesign and cash swap tight window for reasons best known to them.

AllNews Nigeria also reported that at least thirteen opposition political parties in Nigeria said they would withdraw from the forthcoming general elections if the Central Bank of Nigeria extends the deadline for the naira swap.

What would they have gained if ordinary Nigerians continued to suffer from the difficulty of spending their hard-earned money?

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Yusuf Adua
Yusuf Adua

Yusuf Adua is an investigative journalist passionate about politics, solution-based reporting and f...

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