The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended deadline for the swapping of old naira notes till February 10, 2023.
Nigeria’s Apex bank made the announcement in a press release on Sunday, posted on its website.
According to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s banker of last resort said it added “a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023, to allow for the collection of more old notes.”
He also noted that Nigerians would still be able to deposit their old notes directly with the CBN until February 17, 2023, described as “grace period.”
There has been pressure from many Nigerians and groups concerning the initial January 31 deadline for the old notes, as the scarcity of the newly designed 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes prevailed in the country.
Emefiele said, “Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN loses their Legal Tender Status.
“Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilisation and monitoring together with officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission will work together to achieve these objectives.
“A seven-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act, allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.”
Emefiele also sought the cooperation of all Nigerians in the implementation of the policy.
The CBN, before bowing to pressure today, had yesterday (Saturday) insisted that the January 31 deadline for the validity of the old 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes remained unchanged.
The apex bank, via its verified Twitter page, had insisted on Saturday evening that the January 31, 2023 deadline remained.
At his last public engagement, in a video of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, from a just concluded and first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of 2023, the apex bank said, “Deadline for the return of old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remains January 31 2023.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have good news for those who feel we should shift the deadline, my apologies.
“The reason is because, just like the president has said more than two occasions and even to some people privately, 100 days is more than enough for anybody who has the old currency to deposit it in the banks. And we took every measure to ensure that all the banks were and are still open to accept deposits.”
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