[Updated] Emefiele Rebuffs National Assembly, Others on Old Naira Notes, Says: No Extension

I don’t have good news for those who feel we should shift the deadline; my apologies–Emefiele

Bad news for those agitating for a six month extension of the deadline for the use of old Naira notes.

This is because the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said categorically  that there will be no going back on the January 31, 2023 deadline for the old notes to stop being legal tender and go out of circulation.

Emefiele made the declaration in Abuja, Tuesday, during the monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the bank.

His declaration came against a resolution by both Senate and House of Representatives which, same Tuesday, voted for a six-month extension. And lawmakers pushing for a shift wanted the resolution to take immediate effect.

However, Mr. Emefiele said he had bad news for those pro-extension lawmakers and agitators.

“I don’t have good news for those who feel we should shift the deadline; my apologies,” Emefiele said. “The reason is because 90 days should be enough for those who have the old currency to deposit it in the banks.”

Emefiele justified his position, saying that the CBN had taken all measures to ensure that Nigerians were able to deposit their old currency in their various commercial banks before the deadline without stress.

Another measure taken by the CBN to ensure smooth transition from the old notes to the new ones is the meeting the apex bank had with commercial banks where it was agreed that banks must extend their banking hours and work days to Saturdays to enable Nigerians meet the deadline.

Arrangement were also made to take care of difficult-to-reach and far flung places like the Lake Chad Basin and even Sambisa forest to facilitate effective cash swap.

“Our agents and staff are at areas around the Lake Chad Basin, Sambisa forest conducting cash swap and cash exchange,” Emefiele said.

The apex bank had, in October 2022, announced that it will redesign the N200, N500, N1,000 notes respectively, and fixed Tuesday, January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the circulation of the old notes.

To boost the circulation of the redesigned naira notes, the CBN had also directed all commercial banks to halt over-the-counter payment of the new notes and instead load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the new currency.



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