Guber Elections: Parties’ Mobilisers Salivate As CBN Revalidates Old N200, N500, N1000 Notes

CBN Ex-Governor, Godwin Emefiele
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has walked back on its new naira policy by making the old N200, N500 and N1000 valid legal tender in the country again.

 In a nocturnal media statement entitled “Old N200, N500, and N1,000 bank notes remain legal tender – CBN”, acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, wrote:

  “In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterised the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.

“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”

Votes Canvassers Drool Over Coming Windfall

The revalidation of the old naira notes has re-energised parties mobilisers and vote canvassers across the country as they expect to reap their windfalls from Saturday’s upcoming gubernatorial poll in some states and houses of assembly elections nationwide.

  Recall that there have threats by parties’ mobilisers and vote canvassers who worked in the Saturday, February 25, 2023 presidential election to boycott Saturday’s elections or work for the oppositions in their states following claims that they have not been paid by their parties for services rendered.

  But The Dream Daily Newspaper has learned that the cash crunch caused by the CBN was responsible for the failure to pay the votes canvassers.

  Party mobilisers who spoke to The Dream Daily Newspaper on condition of anonymity revealed that party chieftains who deployed them on the field could not pay them in the new notes, “so they are still owning us for the job.”

     But The Dream Daily Newspaper was also reliably informed that some political party leaders offered the old notes in cash to the mobilisers who rejected it back then because the CBN tarried in making a pronouncement on the matter despite the Supreme Court order.

   “Now that we can spend the old notes, I will take it for the work. We must be paid o. We bring voters out to vote. It is not small work,” a party faithful who pleaded anonymity stated.

 There have been speculations in the media that some governors seeking re-election or angling to replace themselves with their hand-picked successors have stockpiled the old naira notes, particularly the N1000 notes, to fight the election out, hence the support the new naira policy initially enjoyed among some Nigerians who saw it as a way to cut down on money politics in the country.

  However, public affairs analysts fear that the revalidation of the old currency notes would provide a leeway for vote-buying in the upcoming governorship and houses of assembly elections, which was largely absent in the presidential election of 25 February, 2023.

 The old naira are now valid till 31 December, 2023.     

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