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No going back on January 31 deadline for return of old notes – Emefiele

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Despite pressures, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again reiterated its stance that there will be no extension to the deadline of January 31, 2023, for the return of old naira notes.

Responding to questions after the first monetary policy meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor confirmed no deadline extension.

He explained that since the new naira notes were introduced, kidnapping and ransom-taking have reduced since the three banknotes were redesigned.

He also said the time given for the swap of the old naira notes with new ones was enough for Nigerians to go to commercial banks and get new notes.

The CBN on October 26, 2022 announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes.

READ ALSOSenate demands extension of deadline for exchange of old Naira notes

President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed the January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.

There have been concerns from many Nigerians over the slow spread of the three new naira notes as the January 31, 2023 deadline approaches but the apex bank has insisted that the date stands.

The CBN also recently directed commercial banks to halt over-the-counter payment of the new notes and load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the redesigned naira notes to boost circulation.

The apex bank also launched a cash swap programme nationwide to enable those in unbanked areas to exchange their old notes for new notes before the deadline.

Emefiele insisted that all these measures will ensure that Nigerians can submit their old naira notes before the deadline date.

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