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CBN Insists Old Naira Notes Deadline Jan 31

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will not extend the January 31 deadline for N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to cease being legal tender despite pressure from Nigerians on the need for an extension of the deadline.

The nation’s apex bank also warned commercial banks in the country to desist from dispensing the old naira currency through their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or face sanction from the bank.

Addressing traders at the Katsina Central Market Thursday on the need to change their old currency, the CBN Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Bello Umar, said the bank has no plan to extend the deadline.

The old notes are expected to be out of circulation by January 31 yet there is scarcity of the new notes as banks keep dispensing old notes to their customers across the country.

But Umar explained that the apex bank has enough new naira currency which have since been distributed across commercial banks for onward disbursement to their respective customers through ATMs.

He added that the management of the CBN has directed that from Friday last week, “all ATMs must carry only new notes. If the banks don’t have the new notes they should not load the old notes”.

He said: “The January 31 deadline is fast approaching and the CBN has no plan to extend the deadline. So, all those who have the old notes should please take them to their banks so that they will be exchanged or credited to their accounts.

“We are going round towns and cities in Nigeria to ensure that all the ATMs are loaded with new notes. And there is relaxation on the policy, they can dispense any of the notes either N1,000, N500 or N200 notes.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria across the whole country has enough new notes to go round to everybody. So, we will expect that in the next few days, every ATM in Nigeria will have the new notes. We are going round to check.

“So, we are appealing to the general public that if they go to any ATM and see them dispensing old notes they should report them to the Central Bank of Nigeria so that we can take action on the bank to know why they are not loading the new notes.”

He added that the CBN was using the ATM because it is the most democratic way that money will go round to every Nigerian, saying individuals can withdraw up to N500,000 and corporate organisations N5 million in a week based on the newly adjusted cash limit policy.

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