Atedo Peterside, founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Anap Foundation, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) naira redesign policy turned to currency confiscation.
Peterside’s comment comes hours after the supreme court ruled that old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes remain legal tender until the end of the year.
The naira redesign policy was announced last October and the new notes were circulated from December 15.
People were initially given a deadline of January 31, 2023 to hand in all their old notes but it was later extended to February 10.
However, not enough of the new notes were released.
The shortage of the new naira notes made it extremely hard for many Nigerians to engage in many forms of commercial transactions including transportation costs.
The situation prompted citizens across the country to take to the streets to protest the harship caused by the naira scarcity.
In a tweet on Friday, Peterside said the apex bank did not give enough notice to Nigerians before the old notes were withdrawn.
“I agree that CBN did not give adequate notice & so currency redesign became “confiscation,” he tweeted.
“CBN’s autonomy is on Monetary Policy which does not & cannot stretch into the “confiscation of an entire asset class” (old notes) which is still held by the States and Private Citizens”.
Presently, Nigerians are still experiencing difficulties accessing cash at automated teller machines (ATMs) and banking halls while point of sale (PoS) merchants have taken advantage of the situation by hiking their fees.