The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared its intention to extend the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes indefinitely, News About Nigeria reports.
The CBN aims to allow the old naira notes as legal tender beyond any expiry date, aligning with international best practices.
In a statement signed by the Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, the bank revealed that it is working with relevant authorities to vacate a subsisting court ruling on the same subject.
The statement, titled ‘CBN To Allow Old Design Naira Banknotes as Legal Tender, Ad Infinitum’, emphasised that all banknotes issued by the CBN, in accordance with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will continue to remain legal tender indefinitely, even beyond the initial December 31, 2023, deadline.
The CBN urged the public to accept all Naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for day-to-day transactions and handle them with care to safeguard and protect the lifecycle of the banknotes.
This announcement comes as the third statement from the CBN regarding naira notes in recent times.
The apex bank clarified earlier this month that there was no scarcity of naira in the country and later emphasised that every banknote remains legal tender and should not be rejected.
The recent move follows a Supreme Court ruling in March that instructed the CBN to allow old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to continue as legal tender until December 31, 2023, after the introduction of a new naira design policy.
Former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had disclosed a plan to redesign some naira denominations and reduce currency circulation to control counterfeit currency and ransom payments.
The existing old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes retained their legal tender status until January 31, 2023, and the deadline was later extended to February 10, 2023.
However, a Supreme Court ruling in March invalidated the new naira design policy. With the latest directive from the CBN, Nigerians can continue using old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes beyond December 2023.