Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a 10-day extension of the deadline for the use of old naira banknotes in Nigeria.
The CBN governor, who spoke to reporters on Sunday morning, said he had President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the extension.
The new deadline is now February 10 instead of the previous January 31 deadline, he said.
Emefiele spoke in Daura, Katsina state, after a meeting with the president who is in his home state on official business.
Emefiele said that Nigerians, who have not yet changed their naira notes from the old to the new ones, now have the opportunity to do so.
He said that people should take advantage of the opportunity because the deadline will not be extended again.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the CBN introduced redesigned 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes last October and gave a January 31 deadline for the use of the old notes.
However, new banknotes have been in short supply, leading to calls for extensions.
Emefiele did not elaborate on what the central bank was doing to address the shortage of the new notes.
Last October, the main bank announced its decision to redesign the notes, adding that the notes were being hoarded by the public, with statistics showing that more than 85 percent of currency in circulation is outside commercial bank vaults.
On Sunday, Emefiele assured that the coin has delivered significant results.
“Data available from the bank showed that in 2015, the currency in circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As of October 2022, cash in circulation had risen to 3.23 trillion naira; of which only N500 billion was within the banking industry and N2.7 trillion was kept permanently in people’s homes,” he said.
He said that since the start of the program, the CBN has raised around N1.9 trillion, “leaving us with around N900 billion (N500b + N1.9 trillion).
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“We are pleased that the exercise has so far achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the 2.7 trillion naira held outside the banking system.
According to him, Nigerians in rural areas, villages, the elderly and the vulnerable have been given the opportunity to exchange their old banknotes, taking advantage of the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior Staff National Awareness Team exercise.
“In addition to those who have illicit and stolen naira in their homes for speculative purposes, our goal is to provide all Nigerians who have legitimately earned and trapped Naira with the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped money with the CBN for exchange.”
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