The Central Bank of Nigeria has declared that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will remain valid indefinitely.
According to The Punch, this comes after the top bank stated that it wanted to keep old naira notes valid for longer than their designated expiration date. The bank claims that it is collaborating with the appropriate authorities to overturn the current court decision over the same matter.
This was revealed by the bank on Tuesday in a statement that was signed by the Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin.
The statement titled, ‘CBN To Allow Old Design Naira Banknotes as Legal Tender, Ad Infinitum,’ said the decision is line with international best practices and to forestall a repeat of earlier experiences.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public, without prejudice, of its desire to extend the legal tender status deadline of the old design of N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations; ad infinitum,” the announcement stated.
“This is to prevent a recurrence of previous experiences and is in accordance with international best practises. As a result, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria would remain legal money indefinitely, even after the original December 31, 2023, deadline, in compliance with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007.”
It added that the Nigerian Central Bank is collaborating with the appropriate authorities to overturn the current court decision over the same matter. As a result, “All CBN branches nationwide will keep issuing and accepting old and redesigned Nigerian banknotes in all denominations to and from deposit money banks.
“To preserve and protect the banknotes’ lifespan, the public is urged to keep accepting all Naira banknotes—old or redesigned, for daily transactions and to handle them with the utmost care. The general population is also urged to use e-channels, which are substitute payment methods, for regular transactions.”
The Supreme Court’s March ruling, which ordered the CBN to keep the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes legal tender until December 31, 2023, after the bank announced a new naira design policy and expiration dates for the denominations, forced the apex bank to clarify its position on the naira.
In October 2022, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, revealed his intention to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 notes and decrease the amount of currency in circulation.
Emefiele claimed that the goal of the currency change was to reduce counterfeit money, manage the amount of money in circulation, and stop kidnapping and terrorists from receiving ransom payments. He declared that the current N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would retain their legal tender status until January 31, 2023.
With this new CBN directive, Nigerians can now expect to spend old N200, N500, and N1000 beyond December 2023.