By Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed commercial banks in the country to work on Saturdays till January 31, 2023 to enable bank customers return old naira notes for new ones.
It would be recalled that the CBN had announced plan to redesign,
produce, release, and circulate new series of three banknotes out of
existing eight banknotes, comprising N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations respectively, effective on December 15, 2022, after its launch by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at the CBN Fair in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Thursday, themed, promoting financial stability and economic development, Director, Corporate Communications Department of the apex bank, Mr. Osita Nwasinobi,
said that the new and existing currencies would remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies would cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.
Represented by acting director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Akpama Uket, the Director said that
Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)
have been directed to immediately start returning the existing currencies to the CBN.
He said: “They have also been instructed to receive the existing banknotes beyond the threshold stipulated by the Cashless Policy without charges to customers.
“Consequently, you must return all the current N200, N500, and N1,000
banknotes to your bank before the expiration of the deadline.”
The CBN boss, who said that focus of the Bank in redesigning naira notes is macroeconomic stability, added that the effort entails building a strong, stable, and resilient economy that is self-sustaining and able to weather unanticipated shocks.
“This, the bank will do by applying appropriate monetary policy tools, striving to rein in inflation, and continuously encouraging a productive economy through its interventions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the CBN warned Nigerians of consequences of mishandling of naira notes, saying: “Let me also reiterate the need to handle the Naira with care. The Naira remains a symbol of our national pride. Treat it with utmost dignity. Do not spray, squeeze or counterfeit the Naira, as defaulting goes with consequences.”