Following the naira redesign, the validity of the old notes was extended to December 2023 but with a new Governor, Yemi Cardoso, the Apex Bank says the old currency notes are now legal tenders indefinitely.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes are to remain legal tender indefinitely.
In a statement issued by CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, on Tuesday, the Apex bank said it will continue to issue and accept all denominations of the bank notes, old and redesigned, to and from deposit money banks (DMBs).
Recall that following the introduction of the new currency notes last year, the old ones were set to cease as legal tender.
The bank, however, extended “the legal tender status deadline of the old design of N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations, ad infinitum.”
It explained that the move is in line with international best practices and “to forestall a repeat of earlier experiences.
“Thus, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in accordance with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will continue to remain legal tender, ad infinitum, even beyond the initial December 31, 2023, deadline. The Central Bank of Nigeria is working with the relevant authorities to vacate the subsisting court ruling on the same subject.
“The general public is enjoined to continue to accept all Naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for day-to-day transactions and handle these banknotes with utmost care, to safeguard and protect the lifecycle of the banknotes,” it added.
The announcement brings to an end, the confusion that followed the introduction of new currency notes by the former governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele, and the validity of old currency notes.
Emefiele had argued that the move would help among other things fight inflation, kidnapping and curb vote-buying months before the 2023 general elections.
The CBN later extended the validity of the old notes to December 2023. However, the bank, under the leadership of Yemi Cardoso, says the old currency notes are now legal tenders indefinitely.