CBN clarifies position on old naira note deadline

…as Emefiele appears before lawmakers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clarified its position on the February 10, 2023, deadline for phasing out of the N1,000, N500, and N200 banknotes.

This was as Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the apex bank, on Tuesday, finally honoured an invitation by the House of Representatives, where he assured the lawmakers that Nigerians would not lose their money.

Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, Osita Nwanisobi, director, corporate communications department at the CBN, explained that the old notes would cease to be legal tender after February 10, 2023, and would no longer be used for any form of transaction afterwards.

However, he stated that in line with the provision of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act, Nigerians would have the opportunity to redeem the face value of the naira only at the central bank, after the currency had lost its legal tender status, subject to meeting certain conditions.

Reiterating the pledge of the CBN governor, Emefiele, at the meeting with the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, Nwanisobi said Nigerians would not lose their money, even as he urged citizens to take advantage of the extended deadline of February 10, 2023 to deposit the old banknotes currently in their possession at their banks or through mobile money agents.

Citing instances in other climes, Nwanisobi explained that banknotes that cease to be legal tender are only redeemable by the monetary authorities of such jurisdictions upon demand subject to conditions /processes as may be prescribed by that Central Bank.

Nwanisobi also used this opportunity to encourage Nigerians to adopt other payment channels for their transactions, saying that Nigeria’s payment system is robust enough and ranks among the first in the world.

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