Banks in Nigeria are now accepting old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes, after the confusion surrounding the fate of these notes. Initially, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had extended the deadline for the circulation of these old notes to February 10 and announced that it would continue to receive them until February 17.
Recall, when holders of these notes attempted to deposit them at the CBN, they were turned away and told to take the notes to their DMBs instead. Though, some banks refused to accept the notes, causing further confusion.
The confusion led to a lot of speculation among Nigerians, with some wondering what would happen to the old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes they had in their possession. There were concerns that the notes might become completely worthless or that they might not be able to exchange them for new currency.
In response to this confusion, the CBN issued a statement on February 21, denying reports that it had directed DMBs to accept old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes from their customers. The statement clarified that only old ₦200 notes had been directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to be re-issued and that the CBN would stick to that directive. The statement also urged the public to disregard any messages or information not formally released by the CBN on this subject.
It is important to note that the CBN’s decision to extend the deadline for the circulation of the old notes was aimed at giving Nigerians ample time to exchange them for new currency. The CBN has been working to phase out old notes and replace them with new ones as part of its efforts to maintain the integrity of the Nigerian currency.
Despite the initial denials by CBN over the acceptance of old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes, the banks are now accepting them is a welcome relief for many Nigerians. This development has given people more options for exchanging their old notes and has helped to ease concerns about the potential worthlessness of these notes.
The CBN has urged Nigerians to continue to exchange their old notes for new currency, as the deadline for the circulation of old ₦200 notes is fast approaching. According to the CBN’s statement, the old ₦200 notes will only be legal tender until April 10, 2023, after which they will no longer be accepted as a means of payment.
The acceptance of old ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes in Nigeria highlights the importance of clear communication from financial authorities. The CBN’s efforts to phase out old notes and replace them with new ones are aimed at maintaining the integrity of the Nigerian currency and should be supported by all Nigerians.