CBN extends deadline for old naira notes swap by 10 days

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, House of Reps committee, new naira notes
Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele

CBN extends deadline for old naira notes swap by 10 days

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes by 10 days.

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele in a statement said the new deadline is Friday, February 10, 2023.

Emefiele made the announcement after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a working visit to Katsina State. He said Buhari gave permission for the deadline to be extended to February 10.

Buhari on Saturday backed the CBN’s plan to phase out the current 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes by Tuesday, January 31.

The presidency in a statement said Buhari insisted that the policy is “aimed at people hoarding illicit funds and not the common man, and that it had become necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding.

“This, he assured, will stabilize and strengthen the economy.”

Many Nigerians are however worried and complained that the new notes are not in circulation.

Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje for the same reason told President Muhammadu Buhari to postpone his visit to the state as he is “deeply concerned” about the hardship it is causing citizens.

Senate during the plenary on Thursday urged the CBN to extend the deadline to July 31, citing fears that millions of Nigeria’s unbanked and rural dwellers may be hard done by if the initial date remains.

Emefiele visited Buhari in Daura on Sunday morning and obtained the approval for postponement from the president.

He said Nigerians, who are yet to change their naira notes from the old to new ones, now have an opportunity to do so.

The apex bank’s governor cautioned that people must utilise the opportunity because the deadline will not be extended again.

“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.

“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 a statement.


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