The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of old naira notes by 10 days until February 10. The apex bank also announced a grace period of additional 7 days, which means the old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes can still be returned to the CBN till the maximum date of February 17, 2023.
The initial deadline for the old naira return to the CBN was January 31, but this was later extended after most Nigerians complained of difficulty getting the new banknotes. Deposit money banks are still dispensing the old notes to customers as they also complain of scarcity in getting new notes from the CBN.
Why the CBN redesigned some naira notes
The CBN announced that it intended to replace the old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes with newly redesigned notes.
The three highest denomination banknotes make up over 85% of all banknotes in circulation in Nigeria. CBN governor, Godwin Emeifele earlier reported that over 80% of all currency in circulation in the country is outside the banking vaults in the hands of corrupt politicians and other criminals.
The Naira redesign was intended to bring back all that money into the formal economy or at the very least, render them unusable to their holders.
Naira swap so far
When CBN releases cash into circulation, it is meant to be used and returned to the banking vaults after a period of time. The CBN announced that the latest mop-up of old naira notes has achieved 75% success rate with over N1.9 trillion collected so far, and only N900 billion still in circulation.
About 30,000 super agents were deployed nationwide to rural areas and regions underserved by banks across the country to help people swap their old banknotes for new cash.