The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the old naira notes for N200, N500 and N1000 will still remain as legal tender beyond December 31, 2023.
Recall that the CBN had announced in March that, in compliance with the verdict of the Supreme Court, the affected banknotes would cease to be in circulation by December 31.
Former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, had, in October last year, unveiled plans to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes and urged citizens to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, as they would cease to be legal tender thereafter.
Emefiele’s directive resulted in a cash crunch across the country in February, leaving citizens in untold hardship, which eventually led to protests and attacks on banks in some cities across the country.
Meanwhile, as the scarcity of the banknotes has hit some states over the fear of the end of the year deadline, a top official of the CBN told our correspondent that both old and new banknotes remained legal tender.
He assured Nigerians not to exercise any fear about the December 31 deadline, adding that the apex bank would phase out the banknotes gradually, in order not to cause other pains for the people.
“They are all legal tender. Nigerians should continue to spend them. There is no need to exercise fear about the deadline.”
“We won’t want Nigerians to undergo similar pain as they experienced earlier this year. The phasing out of the old notes will be gradual. It won’t be rushed,” he assured.