The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has yielded to the public pressure and extended the deadline the usage of the old N200, N500 and N1000.
The CBN Governor, Me. Godwin Emefiele in a statement said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension by ten days to February 10th, 2023.
“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 mobilization and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives” he said.
“A 7-day grace period, beginning on 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,” CBN said in the statement.
The Central Bank had last year introduced redesigned 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes and gave a deadline of 31st January, 2023 for swapping of the notes.
The apex bank had been under pressure to shift the deadline over the scarcity of new naira notes.
However, a lot of Nigerians are not excited about the shift in deadline if the CBN doesn’t ramp up the new notes supply.
A cross section of citizens who spoke to our correspondent said the CBN must ensure the banks have adequate supply of the new notes and that, no bank should issue the old notes to citizens.
“The only way the extension by the CBN would make sense is if, the CBN ensures that no bank issues old currencies to anyone, either at the counters or the ATMs” said John Shola.
He said if the banks keep issuing the old notes, then we would not have achieved anything significant still” he said.
Another Nigerian, Juliet Ebong made similar comment. But she added that the banks are trading the new months to politically exposed personal na whilst the rest of the citizens don’t have anything significant.
A cross section of other Nigerians in Abuja expressed similar concerns.