In what amounts to a policy summersault, Central Bank Governor(CBN), Godwin Emefiele, today at the House of Representatives, disclosed that the CBN would continue to accept old notes after the deadline of February 10, 2023.
Emefiele spoke on the CBN Act which mandates the bank to collect old notes even when the notes are no longer legal tender.
He is quoted as saying:
“But if you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank, we will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do exchange, we will give you. You will not lose your money. This is the assurance I give to Nigerians,”
This statement by Emefiele is quite ambiguous and leaves a lot of loopholes. Was Emefiele waving the olive branch just to avoid complications at the House committee, which had threatened to issue a bench warrant for his arrest?
What is clear from all these interactions is that the cutoff date of February 10th, with an additional 7 days to turn in all old bank notes, still stands. Any other ambiguity with the statements would be exposing old naira notes holders to the risk of losses associated with holding the old notes.