Old naira notes remain legal tender beyond December 31, says CBN

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has removed the deadline for the legal tender status of old N200, N500, and N1000 notes from the initial December 31, 2023.

The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Tuesday, November 14.

The apex bank also said it was working to vacate existing court rulings on the old notes.

The statement reads: “Please recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the redesign of N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations in October 2022, and specific deadlines were set for the old design of these denominations to cease as legal tenders.

“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.”

According to the apex bank, all banknotes issued by the CBN by Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007 will remain legal tender beyond the initial December 31, 2023, deadline.

It added that all its branches across the country would continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, old and redesigned, to and from banks.

The Apex bank also called on the public to continue to accept all naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for day-to-day transactions, as well as embrace alternative modes of payment.

The ICIR reported the assurances by the apex bank that the old and new naira notes remained legal tender despite the Supreme Court ruling on the old notes.

Analysts believe that the currency rationing experienced in some commercial banks would now lessen with this clarification statement by the CBN.

“Now the CBN has spoken, there is a direction, and some commercial banks would now stop the rationing of the currency as concerns over that are being raised in some quarters,” former Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Muda Yusuf, told The ICIR.

Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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