THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally bowed to pressure and extended the deadline for swapping old naira notes at commercial banks.
CBN governor Godwin Emefiele announced on Sunday, January 30, that the new deadline is now February 10.
He added that Nigerians will still be able to deposit their old notes directly with the CBN until February 17, 2023.
The CBN has been under immense pressure from Nigerians calling for the extension of the January 31 deadline due to their inability to swap their old N200, N500 and N1000 notes for the new ones.
Emefiele said on Sunday that as a result of measures put in place to ease the scarcity, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the deadline extension.
“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023, to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN loses their Legal Tender Status.
“Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilization and monitoring, together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC, will work together to achieve these objectives.
“A 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act, allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status,” Emefiele said in a statement.
The CBN had, in October 2022, introduced redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes and gave a deadline of 31 January for the use of the old notes.