By Frank Ulom
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remained as legal tender forever.
CONVERSEER reports that the CBN introduced the redesign of N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations in October 2022 and certain deadlines were set for the old design of these denominations to cease as legal tenders.
The policy caused untold hardship to Nigerians, especially the poor as citizens were buying N5,000 for N10,000 and even more. It was the first time in the history of the country that citizens were using naira to buy naira.
Series of court rulings were turned down by the erstwhile CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele who said he was acting on the order of former President Muhammadu Buhari. The administration finally succumbed to the Supreme Court ruling by extending the deadline to December 31, 2023, which brought respite to the nation but at a cost of economic woes.
Today, Monday, November 14, 2023, the CBN through a statement signed by its Corporate Communications Director, Dr Isa AbdulMumin said it has ended the deadline till infinity.
“Without prejudice, the Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public of its desire to extend the legal tender status deadline of the old design of N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations, ad infinitum. This is in line with international best practices
and to forestall a repeat of earlier experiences.
“Thus, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in accordance with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will continue to remain legal tender, ad infinitum, even beyond the initial December 31, 2023, deadline.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria is working with the relevant authorities to vacate the subsisting court ruling on the same subject.
“Accordingly, all CBN branches across the country will continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, old and redesigned, to and from deposit
money banks (DMBs).
“The general public is enjoined to continue to accept all Naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for day-to-day transactions and handle these banknotes with utmost care, to safeguard and protect the lifecycle of the banknotes.
“Also, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, e-channels, for day-to-day transactions,” the statement read.
CONVERSEER reports that there was money scarcity today (November 14) in Calabar, Cross River State capital as many banks were closed with only a few ATM and POS terminals dispensing money.