BusinessDay

Emefiele says ransom-taking, kidnapping slow after naira redesign

…says no deadline extension to phasing out old notes

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday said the new naira has slowed ransom-taking and kidnapping activities across the country.

The apex bank said there would be no extension to the January 31, 2023 deadline for phasing out the old naira notes, a disappointment to those who have been expecting an extension.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, said this while briefing journalists on the outcome of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

He said kidnapping and ransom-taking have reduced since the roll-out of the redesigned naira notes on December 15, 2023.

Nigeria’s Senate had asked the CBN to extend its deadline for the phasing out of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes from January 31st to June 30th, 2023.

He said the 100 days deadline is enough for people to deposit their old naira notes into the banking system.

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“I do not have good news for those who want the date to be changed,” Emefiele said. He disclosed that N1.5 trillion of the old banknotes have been returned, hoping that it will get to N3 trillion this week.

“By last week we have seen about between N1.3 to N1.5 trillion in, we are hoping that as we get into this week, we will move closer to N3 trillion. If we get N3 trillion in and those who keep money decide to keep it at home, I am not going to force them to bring it out,” he said.