The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clarified the position of the apex bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, that old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes will be accepted after the new deadline of February 10, 2023.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, explained that the old notes would cease to be legal tender on February 10, 2023, and could no longer be used for any type of transaction after that date.
Nwanisobi stated that after the deadline, Nigerians will only be able to redeem the face value of the Naira at the CBN, not commercial banks. He also stated that acceptance is conditional on certain conditions being met.
According to Section 20 (3) of the CBN Act, Nigerians will be able to “redeem the face value of the Naira only at the Central Bank after the currency has lost its legal tender status, subject to meeting certain conditions,” according to the apex bank’s spokesman.
However, the time frame for accepting old notes after the deadline had not been specified.
Nwanisobi explained, citing examples from other countries, that banknotes that cease to be legal tender are only redeemable by the monetary authorities of such jurisdiction on demand, subject to the conditions and processes prescribed by that Central Bank.
Earlier on Tuesday, Emefiele appeared before the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Naira Swap months after the lower chamber invited him and days after House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila threatened to arrest the apex bank chief.
After the February 10 deadline, the CBN chief told the committee, the old notes would be accepted.
On October 26, 2022, the CBN announced its intention to redesign the three banknotes. President Muhammadu Buhari then unveiled the redesigned ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, with the apex bank setting a January 31 deadline for the old notes to be valid.