The deadline for swapping old naira notes for the new ones in banks has been extended by 10 days by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank issued a statement to that effect today, Sunday, January 29.
While confirming the new deadline as February 10, 2023, Emefiele also said a grace period of 7 days will be added so Nigerians can still deposit their old note till February 17th.
There has been series of complaints by Nigerians regarding their inability to access the new naira notes from banks or Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
It is believed that the new measures/restrictions are designed to curb vote buying in the upcoming elections slated for the February 25th and March 11th 2023
The CBN had initially resisted extending the original deadline of January 31st, 2023.
Part of Emefiele’s statement reads:
“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN loses their Legal Tender Status. Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilization and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives.
“A 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act, allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.”