President Muhammadu Buhari says old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.
He, however, directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release old N200 notes into circulation as legal tender for the next 60 days.
The President, who made this known in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, directed the CBN to allow the new notes available to all citizens.
The President apologised to Nigerians over the difficulty experienced in the implementation of the naira redesign policy.
N200 notes to be released into circulation as legal tender for the next 60 days.
“To further ease the supply pressure, particularly on our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500 and N1,000 bank notes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10, 2023 when the old N200 note ceases to be legal tender,” he said.
The President had on February 3 appealed to Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch after the Nigeria Governors’ Forum urged him to allow all old notes to circulate in the system to ease the hardship on ordinary Nigerians.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 following complaints by many Nigerians but the Supreme Court held that the Federal Government, the CBN, commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.
Will N200, N500 and N1000 notes still be legal tender in Nigeria?
The Nigeria’s Apex Bank had earlier declared two days ago: “The old naira notes of ₦200, ₦500, ₦1000 notes are no longer legal tender in the country. The CBN clarified that the old ₦200, ₦500, ₦1000 notes ceased being legal tender in Nigeria on Friday, February 10, 2023.
The president said, “Let me re-assure Nigerians, that strengthening our economy, enhancing security and blockage of leakages associated with illicit financial flows remain top priority of our administration. And I shall remain committed to my oath of protecting and advancing the interest of Nigerians and the nation, at all times.
“In the last quarter of 2022, I authorised the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 Nigerian banknotes.For a smooth transition, I similarly approved that the redesigned banknotes should circulate concurrently with the old bank notes, till 31 January 2023, before the old notes, cease to be legal tender.
“During the extended phase of the deadline for currency swap, (from Jnuary 31 till February 10) I listened to invaluable pieces of advice from well meaning citizens and institutions across the nation.
“I similarly consulted widely with representatives of the State Governors as well as the Council of State. Above all, as an administration that respects the rule of law, I have also noted that the subject matter is before the courts of our land and some pronouncements have been made.