The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the bank, said President Muhammadu Buhari gave permission for the deadline to be extended to February 10.
He said so far, CBN had collected 1.9 trillion and left with 900billion to achieve effective implementation of policy.
Daily Trust gathered that Emefiele visited Buhari in Daura on Sunday morning and obtained the approval 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.
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 but up till the late hours of Saturday, the bank vowed that it would not do do.
“Deadline for the return of old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remains January 31 2023,” it tweeted attaching a video of Emefiele giving the stance of the bank on old notes at the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the bank.
In the video, Emefiele said, ”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.”