The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the deadline for replacing old naira notes from January 31st, 2023, to February 10, 2023.
This is according to a press release seen by Nairametrics after confirmation from very senior officials of the central bank. The press release was signed by Godwin Emefiele.
The extension is coming after several pleas from legislators, traditional rulers, governors, presidential aspirants, politicians, and Nigerians in general for an extension of the deadline.
What the CBN is saying
In a press release signed by Godwin Emefiele, he stated that he met with the president (Buhari) on Sunday, January 29th to brief him on development, and based on the feedback he shared the president agreed to extend the deadline by a further 10 days.
- “Aside from those holding illicit/ stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange. Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr. President’s approval for the following”
- “A 10-day extension of t h e deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for collection of more old notes nationwide legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their Legal tender Status.”
The central bank also stated that a further 7 days period will be granted to Nigerians to deposit the money at the central bank, if they missed the February 10th deadline earmarked for cash swaps.
- “A 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.”
Update on currency in circulation
Mr. Emefiele also provided insight into the implementation of the newly designed currency which is aimed at reducing the currency outside circulation.
- “Bank of Nigeria has shown that in 2015, Currency -in- Circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes. Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of the currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.”
- “So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion (N500b + N1.9trillion).”
- “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system.”
Pressured to listen
- Just yesterday, the central bank via its Twitter handle had insisted that there was no going back to the extension of the deadline.
- President Buhari also followed with a message adamant that the deadline day will not be extended as he admonished terrorists and corrupt Nigerians for the reason why the new currency was introduced.
- It appears pressure from all sections of the country especially footage from several TV stations showing millions of Nigerians in long queues and frustrated about the handling of the cash swaps.
- The Senate even went as far as passing a motion extending the deadline date to June 30th, 2023.
- The announcement to extend the deadline date can be seen as caving under pressure from Nigerians who mostly wanted an extension.
See the press release on the extension of deadline date for swapping old naira notes.