Ade Olu

last updated Mon, Mar 6, 2023 4:46 PM

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Sit-at-home: Igbo residents await reversion to old naira notes on Tuesday

By Ade Olu
| Updated 16:46 06/03/2023
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Residents of Anambra State Capital and other parts of Southeast Nigeria eagerly await the response of commercial banks to last week's Supreme Court ruling ordering continuous use of the old 500 and 1000 currency notes. 

In a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel of Justices, the apex court held that the old banknotes should remain legal tenders until December 31, alongside the redesigned currencies.

The court faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing the demonization policy without consultation with the Council of States, the Federal Executive Council, Civil Society and other relevant stakeholders.

In the lead judgement that Justice Emmanuel Agim delivered, the apex court accused President Buhari of disobeying its interim order that halted the full implementation of the new monetary policy.

While Nigerians in several other states of the Federation have started reaping from the ruling today with positive responses from commercial banks, residents of Anambra and others in the southeast region are compelled to wait till Tuesday to ascertain the reaction from the banks.

The delay is occasioned by the subsisting sit-at-home order from the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which has worsened the security situation in the area.

"You know that Mondays are part of our weekend here, and we have to wait till tomorrow to see the level of compliance from the banks," said a resident named Michael.

Nigerians everywhere within the country suffered untold hardships following the naira crunch which trailed the implementation of the policy.

"It was hellish, really. For the first time, I had money in the bank, and I couldn't access it. Anyone desperate for their money is compelled to buy [it]," said Mary, another resident.

"The situation has not changed as I speak with you because banks did not open for business today. We hope as they resume tomorrow, things will begin to normalize."

Despite the withdrawal of the Monday sit-at-home order by a faction of IPOB and the governmental directive for normal commercial activities to resume on Mondays, fear of the unknown shooters still keeps the majority at home.

While Monday activities are gradually picking up in a few places, most of the zone remains hugely compliant with the directive from non-state actors.

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