The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has announced that the deadline for the old notes to cease being a legal tender is no longer January 31, 2023. It has now been shifted to February 10,2023. A statement by the apex bank said, “we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians.”
What that means is that Nigerians now have another grace of ten days to get the new notes for their transactions.
It is expected that the extension would douse the tension created by the initial deadline, during which time the two houses of the National Assembly had threatened to sanction Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN for refusing to accede to the resolutions of both houses that the deadline be shifted to June.
On the eve of the January 31 deadline there were agitations by the people even as the CBN governor continued to insist on that deadline, and President Muhammadu Buhari is quoted to have said that there was no going back on it. The banks insist that the new notes were in short supply, as the ATM centres had no notes to dispense. Many people got stranded because business concerns rejected old notes while customers had no new notes to spend.
However, there was relief when the change was announced over the weekend by the apex bank.