President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the request by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to extend the deadline for swapping old Naira notes to the redesigned ones to February 10.
The CBN has before now given a January 31 deadline for the exchange of old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1000 with the new ones.
A seven-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, has also been approved to enable Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would cease to be recognised as legal tender.
Th approval was given after the President’s meeting with the apex bank’s governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in Buhari’s country home in Daura, Katsina State on Sunday.
Emefiele briefed correspondents after the meeting, revealing that 75 per cent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system has been recovered.
He said: “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and the 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 lose 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.
“We, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch-free implementation of this very important process for the program.”