New naira notes deadline: CBN cash swap explained
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.
The old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes will still be legal tender in Nigeria till February 10, 2023. Nigerians will also have an additional grace period of 7 days till February 17 to return the old banknotes to the CBN.
The CBN has deployed 30,000 super agents nationwide to help Nigerians swap their old notes for the newly redesigned banknotes. They can be found at strategic locations across the country such as local markets and in rural areas, they do not accept transfers, they accept only cash and also make cash swaps in the newly redesigned notes.
Nigerians who are unable to deposit their old banknotes by February 10 will have an additional grace period of 7 days till February 17 to find one of the CBN super agents to swap their cash.
Yes, deposit money banks have been instructed to only load their ATMs with new notes, and from February 1, all over-the-counter withdrawals will be paid in new notes only. the old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes will cease to be legal tender by February 10. This means you cannot pay for goods and services with them in Nigeria from this date.
No, most corrupt politicians don’t hold their loot in Naira, they hold it in a more valuable currency like the dollar, pound, Euros, etc. and minerals like gold, diamonds and silver. Corrupt public officials also launder their loot to buy houses and properties all around the world, all these problems cannot be solved by naira redesign only.