Deadline remains Jan 31 for old naira notes —CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria has insisted that there is no going back on the January 31 deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes, as they will cease to be legal tender in the country.

The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele reiterated the apex bank’s stance after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

Emefiele also insisted that enough time had been given to Nigerians to swap their old naira notes for new ones.

This is as he also said that kidnapping and ransom-taking had reduced since the three banknotes were redesigned.

Many Nigerians have however lamented the unavailability and scarcity of the new notes, decrying that banks up till today, were still giving out the old naira notes to customers with the deadline only a few days away.

Meanwhile, the CBN in its efforts to ensure that everyone is carried along embarked on a cash swap programme nationwide to enable those in the unbanked areas to exchange their old notes before the January 31 deadline, however, excluding Lagos and Abuja mobile money/Point of Sales operators from the programme.

The CBN also recently ordered commercial banks to immediately stop over-the-counter withdrawal of the new notes and load their Automated Teller Machines with the redesigned naira notes to boost its circulation.

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