Nigeria’s naira crisis: Supreme Court suspends banknote deadline

The redesign has caused chaos in Nigeria, with people unable to withdraw money

Nigeria’s Supreme Court has temporarily suspended Friday’s deadline to stop using old banknotes, which had caused a cash crisis in the country.

Many banks have not had enough of the new naira notes, leading to desperate and chaotic scenes as people tried to get their hands on them.

Videos were shared of people stripping in banks in protest and fights at ATMs.

The chaos led to concern that it could affect this month’s elections, as many Nigerians do not have bank accounts.

The Central Bank said the currency redesign would help it tackle inflation, which is currently running at about 21%.

The bank said 80% of the notes currently in circulation were being held outside financial institutions. It hoped the redesign would bring some of that money being hoarded by individuals and companies back into the financial system, and so stop prices from rising so quickly.

The case, which was brought by the northern states of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, has been adjourned to 15 February.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.