The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clarified that the old 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes will remain legal tender even after December 31, 2023.
An anonymous senior official of the CBN, as reported by Legit, assured Nigerians that both the old and new banknotes will continue to be considered legal currency.
In March 2023, following a Supreme Court verdict, the CBN had announced that these old banknotes would no longer be in circulation after the end of 2023.
However, the recent announcement has created concerns, especially considering the relatively short timeframe until the deadline.
Responding to these concerns, the CBN official advised Nigerians not to panic, reiterating that both the old and new banknotes are legal tender.
CBN Clarifies Status Of Old Banknotes
The phasing out of the old notes will be a gradual process to avoid causing additional hardships for the people.
The official emphasised that the CBN doesn’t want Nigerians to experience the difficulties they faced earlier this year when a directive to deposit old notes led to cash shortages and hardships for citizens.
“They are all legal tender. Nigerians should continue to spend them. There is no need to worry about the December 31 deadline.
“We won’t want Nigerians to undergo similar pain as they experienced earlier this year. The phasing out of the old notes will be gradual. It won’t be rushed.”
This situation also sparked protests and bank attacks in some parts of the country.
The CBN’s new management team, which recently took over, has promised to be different from the previous era under Godwin Emefiele.
The decision to continue recognising old banknotes as legal tender seeks to ensure a smooth transition and minimise disruptions in the country’s financial system, especially considering the challenges faced during the earlier phase-out attempt.