CBN extends Deadline for Old N200, N500 And N1,000 Notes Indefinitely
Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes beyond December 31, 2023.
The bank says the timeline for the validity of the old naira notes is now indefinite in line with the global best practice, and to forestall a repeat of earlier experience last year.
The apex bank recalls it introduced newly redesigned naira notes on October 22, 2022, and set the deadline when the old notes would cease to be legal tender.
CBN Director of Corporate Communication, Isa Abdulmumin, said the bank would work with relevant agencies, to vacate the Supreme Court’s order that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 should cease to be legal tender as from December 31, 2023.
It asks Nigerians to continue to accept both the old and redesigned naira notes.
Also, CBN says that all its branches nationwide would continue to issue and accept all denominations of old and redesigned naira notes to and from banks.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, in October 2022 disclosed a plan to redesign some naira denominations (N200, N500, and N1000 notes) and reduce currency circulation.
According to Emefiele, the currency move was to control currency in circulation as well as curb counterfeit currency and ransom payments to kidnappers and terrorists. He stated that the existing old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would retain their legal tender status until January 31, 2023.
The apex would later extend its deadline until February 10, 2023, but the Zamfara, Kogi, and Kaduna state governments would on February 3 file a suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation on the policy.
Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Kano, Sokoto, Ogun, and Cross River would later join the suit as co-plaintiffs.
In a ruling in March 2023, the Supreme Court invalidated the new naira design policy because it was not done with due consultation and in line with constitutional provisions.
With this new CBN directive, Nigerians can now expect to spend old N200, N500, and N1000 beyond December 2023.
The National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, Victor Olojo, recently told The PUNCH, “The new decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to retain both the old and new notes is a good and positive development, particularly coming out to clear the speculations before December that was initially set, at least to forestall the scarcity issue that happened earlier in the year.”