Commercial banks in Nigeria have been instructed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to operate on Saturdays up until 31st January, 2023. This is to enable bank customers return their old Naira notes in exchange for new ones.
This directive is in respect to the Central Bank’s decision to redesign, produce, release and circulate N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes on 15th December, 2022.
Speaking at the CBN fair themed, “Promoting financial stability and economic development.” in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Thursday, 17th December 2022, Director, Corporate Communications Department of the apex bank, Mr. Osita Nwasinobi, said the new and existing currencies would remain legal tenders and be in circulation until 31st January, after which the existing currency shall cease to be legal tenders in Nigeria.
Represented by Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Akpama Uket, the director said deposit money banks had been directed to immediately start returning the existing currencies to the CBN.
Commercial Banks have also been instructed to receive the existing banknotes beyond the threshold that was stipulated by the cashless policy without charges to customers.
“Consequently, you must return all the current N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes to your bank before the expiration of the deadline.”
The CBN boss said the purpose of redesigning naira notes was to achieve macroeconomic stability, noting that the efforts entailed building a strong, stable, and resilient economy that would be self-sustaining and able to weather unanticipated shocks.
“This, the bank will do by applying appropriate monetary policy tools, striving to rein in inflation, and continuously encouraging a productive economy through its interventions,” he said.
He also warned Nigerians of the consequences of mishandling of naira notes, saying that, “Let me also reiterate the need to handle the Naira with care. The Naira remains a symbol of our national pride. Treat it with utmost dignity. Do not spray, squeeze or counterfeit the Naira, as default goes with consequences,” he said.
Story: Hauwa Mohammed