By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed commercial banks in the country to work on Saturdays till Jan. 31, 2023, to enable bank customers return old naira notes for new ones.
Mr Osita Nwasinobi, the Director, Corporate Communications Department of the apex bank, stated this at the CBN fair in Ilorin on Thursday.
The fair was themed: “Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development”.
He explained that the new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulated together until Jan. 31, 2023, when the existing money shall cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.
Nwasinobi, who was represented by Mr Akpama Uket, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, said that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have been directed to immediately start returning the existing currencies to the CBN.
“They have also been instructed to receive the existing banknotes beyond the threshold 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,” he said.
The CBN boss said that the redesigning of the Naira notes was for macroeconomic stability.
He said the aim was to build a strong, stable and resilient economy that is self-sustaining and ability to weather unanticipated shocks.
“The bank will achieve this by applying appropriate monetary policy tools, reining inflation and continuously encouraging a productive economy through interventions.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN has announced plans to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of three banknotes, out of the existing eight banknotes.
These are the N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations, which will take effect from Dec. 15, after its launch by President Muhammadu Buhari.
NAN reports that the CBN also warned Nigerians of the consequences of mishandling the Naira notes.
“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,” Nwasinobi warned.