The Central Bank of Nigeria has instructed commercial banks in the country to work on Saturdays till January 31, 2023, to enable bank customers to return old naira notes for new ones.
The CBN had announced plans to redesign, produce, release, and circulate new series of banknotes on December 15, 2022.
Speaking at the CBN fair in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Thursday, Director, Corporate Communications Department of the apex bank, Mr. Osita Nwasinobi, said that the new and existing currencies would remain legal tenders and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing current shall cease to be legal tenders in Nigeria.
The CBN Fair is themed, “Promoting financial stability and economic development.”
Represented by Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Akpama Uket, the director said that Deposit Money Banks had 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.”
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.