Naira Redesign: FG grants 10-day extension

Emefiele, who was in Daura on Sunday morning, had a closed-door meeting with the Buhari, where he obtained the approval.

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday in Daura, Katsina State, approved a 10-day extension of the deadline for the swapping of currency to new notes.

BRANDPOWER reports that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who confirmed this to newsmen in Daura, Katsina State, revealed that the new deadline is now Feb. 10.

Emefiele, who was in Daura on Sunday morning, had a closed-door meeting with the Buhari, where he obtained the approval.

He said Nigerians, who were yet to change their Naira notes from the old to new ones, ”now have an opportunity to do so”.

The apex bank’s governor however cautioned that people must utilise the opportunity because the deadline would not be extended again.

BRANDPOWER recalls that the CBN had fixed Jan. 31 as the deadline for the legitimacy of the old Naira notes.

The redesigned Naira notes, comprising N200, N500 and N1,000, became legal tender on Dec. 15, 2022, after they were unveiled by Buhari on Nov. 23, 2022, in Abuja.

Emefiele said there would be an additional 7-day grace period beginning from February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Section 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians deposit their old naira notes at the CBN after the February 10 deadline when the old notes would have lost its legal status.

“He said: “So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion.

Also briefing journalists after the meeting, the CBN governor said: “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.

“Aside from those holding illicit/stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.

“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following:

“10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural

communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses 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 seven-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.

“We therefore appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch free the implementation of this very important process for program.”

Reports by correspondents of NAN across the country on Saturday indicated that traders and business owners were asking their constomers to pay with new notes.

It was also discovered that some of the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were still dispensing the old Naira notes,  while there were long queues at few ATMs dispensing the redesigned Naira notes.

Some banks dispensing the new notes had configured their ATMs to dispense N5,000 or N10,000 per transaction.

Also, some Point of Sale (PoS) operators were still paying with old Naira notes,  while some who had the redesigned Naira notes increased their charges by 100 to 200 percent.

Full Text of Emefiele’s Press Briefing:

Press Statement by Godwin Emefiele on the Progress of Implementation of New Redesigned Currency by Central Bank of Nigeria