CBN Calms Nigerians’ Fears, Confirms Old Naira Notes Remain Legal Tender
By Adeke Chukwuka
Despite widespread rumors, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed that the old naira notes, such as the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations, will continue to be accepted as legal tender until further notice.
This announcement comes in response to concerns among Nigerians that these banknotes would be replaced by redesigned notes by December 2023.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a statement on November 8, 2023, confirming that it has not mandated the withdrawal of old Naira notes from circulation. The CBN emphasized that all banknotes issued by them, including both old and redesigned ones, remain legal tender.
The statement urged the public not to reject any CBN-issued banknotes and assured that there would be an adequate supply of banknotes for normal economic activities.
The CBN also directed its branches to continue providing various denominations of old and redesigned banknotes to banks for circulation and advised the public to avoid panic withdrawals.
In November 2022, ex-president Muhammadu Buhari introduced redesigned versions of the top three naira bills, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared that the old notes would no longer be accepted after January 2023.
However, due to a poorly executed rollout of the new notes and the withdrawal of the old currency, a severe naira shortage occurred.
This scarcity led to economic distress, causing riots and bank and ATM vandalism in several states. Some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors took legal action, leading to a Supreme Court ruling that the disputed naira notes would remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
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