The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a countdown clock on its website indicating when the old Naira notes will cease to be a legal tender.
The countdown clock shows that January 31, 2023, remained the deadline for the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to “remain legal tenders.”
It would be recalled that the apex bank had in October announced its plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and also set December 15, 2022 as the commencement date for circulating the new Naira notes.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the monetary measures was informed by the need to ensure macroeconomic, particularly financial system stability by creating a strong, stable, and resilient economy that is self-sufficient and capable of absorbing shocks.
According to him, researches by the apex bank reflect that more than 80% of the currency in circulation was not banked giving room for huge hoarding of the currency with the attendant negative implications for planning and development.
Emefiele then described the ugly situation as unacceptable.
Available statistics from the apex bank showed that in September 2022, a total of N3.2 trillion was in circulation, of which N2.73 trillion was outside the bank vaults.
To ensure the deadline set for circulation of the old notes is achieved, the CBN recently ordered the deposit money banks (DMBs) to extend their operations to Saturdays until January 31, 2023, to allow bank customers to exchange old naira notes for new ones.
According to the apex bank’s data, currency outside circulation, that is notes not in the DMBs’ vaults, was about N1.1 trillion in June 2015 but the number had been increasing over the past few years, thereby vitiating monetary policy measures results.