CBN Directs Banks to Issue, Accept Old, Redesigned Naira Notes

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks across the country to continue issuing and accepting old as well as the redesigned Naira banknotes following the order of the Supreme Court.

Business Post reported on Wednesday morning that the apex court granted the prayer of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation to extend the use of old Naira banknotes ad infinitum, scrapping a previous deadline of December 31.

In a statement after the judgement, the central bank “directed all its branches to continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, old and re-designed, to and from deposit money banks (DMBs).”

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Supreme Court ordered that the old versions of N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes shall continue to be legal tender, alongside the re-designed versions. Accordingly, in line with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will continue to remain legal tender, indefinitely,” the statement added.

The seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro gave the ruling following an application by the federal government seeking the court to grant an extension of time for old naira notes to remain in circulation as legal tender.

The federal government also asked the court to lift its March 3 order noting that the extension of time is necessary as it has not been able to print the volume of new notes that would enable a phase-out of the old currency before the December 31 order.

The CBN added that, “Members of the public are enjoined to continue to accept all Naira banknotes (old or re-designed) for their day-to-day transactions and handle these banknotes with the utmost care, to safeguard and protect the lifecycle of the banknotes.

“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, e-channels, in order to reduce pressure on the use of physical cash.”

The redesign policy introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration through the Godwin Emefiele-led central bank in October last year brought about chaos as Nigerians experienced difficulty in accessing cash.

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