By Elsie Udoh
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the date for the validity of old naira notes in the country to February 10, 2023.
This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, saying the use of old Naira notes had been extended by 10 days.
This decision was said to be approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and done in a bid to avail Nigerians who are yet to do so the opportunity to replace their old Naira notes.
“We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and the vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise,” the statement reads.
“Aside from those holding illicit/stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.
“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 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians.
“A 7-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, 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.
“Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilization and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives.
“We, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch-free implementation of this very important process for the program.
Recall that Emefiele, on October 26, 2022, had announced that new Naira notes would be introduced to replace the current 200, 500, and 1,000 Naira notes.
Nigerians were therefore enjoined to change their Naira notes at the bank with the initial deadline set for January 31, 2023.