The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced its intention to extend the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes indefinitely. This announcement comes in light of a subsisting court ruling on the same subject, and the bank has indicated that it is working with relevant authorities to address the matter.
The apex bank in a statement titled ‘CBN To Allow Old Design Naira Banknotes as Legal Tender, Ad Infinitum’, signed by Isa AbdulMumin,the director, corporate communications, stated that it has decided to allow the use of the old design naira banknotes as legal tender indefinitely, in accordance with international best practices.
The CBN explained that the decision was made to avoid a repeat of earlier experiences with currency changes. The central bank also emphasised that it is committed to providing a transparent and inclusive process, and that it will continue to engage all relevant stakeholders on the matter.
The statement partly read, “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. Thus, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, 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 clarified that it is working with relevant authorities to resolve the current legal issues regarding the validity of the old naira banknotes. It added that in the meantime, its branches across the country will continue to accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, both old and redesigned, from deposit money banks.
The CBN encouraged the public to continue to accept all naira banknotes (both the old and redesigned ones) for day-to-day transactions. The banknotes,it stated, should be handled with care to protect their lifespan and to reduce the risk of counterfeiting. In addition, the public is encouraged to use alternative payment methods, such as e-channels, for transactions whenever possible.