The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has directed its branches nationwide to continue issuing and accepting all denominations of the old and new naira notes to and from Deposit Money Banks, DMBs.
This directive follows the Supreme Court’s acceptance of the prayer of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to extend the use of old Naira banknotes till infinity.
Recall, in March the Supreme Court ordered that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 remain legal tender till December 31st, 2023 following the redesign of these denominations.
At the backdrop of the approach of this deadline, many commercial and individual transactions began to witness cash scarcity despite assurances from the CBN that it would continue to accept all denominations of the notes both old and redesigned beyond the deadline.
Subsequently, the AGF had to approach the Supreme Court to obtain a legal backing for this position of the CBN.
In a statement signed by its Acting Director Corporate Communications, Mrs. Sidi Ali Akama, CBN said: “Following the order of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, granting the prayer of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation to extend the use of old Naira banknotes ad infinitum, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has 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, 500, 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.
“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.”