New Naira Notes: NASS Fumes As CBN Insists On January 31 Deadline

Against expectation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the January 31, 2023 deadline for the higher denominations of old banknotes to cease to function as legal tender remains sacrosanct.

Many had expected the CBN to extend the deadline beyond the January 31 date for the sake of Nigerians in riverine areas, uplands  and other remote  areas who do not ordinarily have access to banking services in their immediate locations.

CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had insisted the apex  bank was going ahead with the set date, saying the 100 days allowed for the public to return the old notes to commercial or other banking agents across the country was enough time for compliance.

For us, 100 days are enough for anybody who has the old currency to deposit the money in the banks. And we took every measure to ensure that all the banks are open and receive the old currencies. 100 days, we believe, are more than adequate. We do not see any reason to begin to talk about a shift because people could not deposit their old monies in the banks,” Mr Emefiele stated yesterday during a media briefing to announce the decisions of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the apex bank.

Apart from the nationwide sensitization on the redesigned banknotes, the CBN had also commissioned currency swap to encourage compliance with the policy. With that, the banking agents exchange the new notes with the old ones. 

The CBN governor said about N1.5 trillion had been recovered from circulation as of last week, adding that he expects the figure to rise to N2 trillion before the January 31 date.

He pleaded with all Nigerians to return all the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in their possession to their host banks or nearest banking agents to avoid losing the money completely.

Emefiele said there is adequate quantity of new notes available, but urged understanding with the fact that it is a process. He said the banknotes are being supplied to the commercial banks as the Nigeria Printing and Minting company produces them.

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