President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a 10-day extension of the deadline for the swapping of currency to new notes. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had previously set January 31st as the deadline for the legitimacy of the old Naira notes. However, with the extension, the new deadline is now February 10th.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, confirmed the extension in Daura, Katsina State, and stated that Nigerians who have yet to change their old notes to the new redesigned notes now have an opportunity to do so. He also cautioned that this would be the final extension and urged people to utilize the opportunity.
The redesigned Naira notes, comprising of ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000, became legal tender on December 15th, 2022, after they were unveiled by President Buhari on November 23rd, 2022, in Abuja. However, reports from correspondents across the country indicate that traders and business owners are still asking customers to pay with old notes.
Additionally, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in various states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), were still dispensing old notes. This has led to long queues at ATMs dispensing the new redesigned notes. Some banks have also configured their ATMs to dispense N5,000 or N10,000 per transaction. Furthermore, some Point of Sale (PoS) operators were still paying with old notes, while some who had the redesigned notes increased their charges by 100 to 200 percent.
It is important to note that this extension is a final opportunity for people to exchange their old notes for the new redesigned notes. The CBN has urged people to take advantage of this extension and exchange their old notes at their nearest banks or authorized agents.
The redesigned Naira notes have improved security features and are aimed at curbing counterfeiting and other illegal activities. The CBN has also stated that after the deadline, the old notes will cease to be legal tender and will no longer be accepted in transactions.
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