Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a 10-day extension of the period for the use of old naira notes across Nigeria.
The CBN governor who spoke with journalists on Sunday morning said he had the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the extension.
The new deadline is now February 10, instead of the earlier deadline of January 31, he said.
Mr. Emefiele spoke in Daura, Katsina state after a meeting with the president who is in his hometown on official duties.
Mr. Emefiele said Nigerians, who are yet to exchange their naira notes from old to new ones, now have the opportunity to do so.
He said that people should take advantage of the opportunity, because the deadline will not be extended again.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how last October the CBN introduced the redesigned 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes and gave them until January 31 to use the old notes.
However, new releases have been scarce, prompting calls for an extension.
Mr. Emefiele did not like what the central bank was doing to solve the shortage of new notes.
Last October, the Apex bank announced its decision to redesign the notes, adding that the public was hoarding the notes as statistics show that more than 85 percent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks.
On Sunday, Mr. Emefiele assured that the currency had produced significant results.
“Data available at the bank showed that in 2015 the currency in circulation was only N1.4 trillion. By October 2022, the currency in circulation had increased to N3.23 trillion, of which only 500 billion was within the banking industry and N2.7 trillion in people’s homes forever” , he said.
He said since the program started, the CBN has collected about N1.9 trillion, “leaving about N900 billion (N500b + N1.9 trillion)).
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“We are happy that, so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion out of the banking system.
According to him, Nigerians from rural areas, villages, the elderly and the vulnerable have been given the opportunity to exchange their old notes using the Agent Naira Swap initiative and the exercise of the national sensitization team of CBN Senior staff.
“Apart from those who have illegally stolen Naira for speculative purposes, to give all Nigerians who have legitimately earned and captured Naira the opportunity to exchange their legally captured money at the CBN.”
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