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CBN will accept old naira notes after deadline, says Emefiele (corrected)

BY Samuel Akpan

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Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the bank will continue to accept old naira notes after the stipulated deadline.

Emefiele spoke on Tuesday when he appeared at an interactive session with the house of representatives ad hoc committee on the currency redesign and naira swap policy.

He said the CBN will also accept the old naira from banks after the February 10 deadline.

Emefiele made reference to the CBN act which mandates the apex bank to continue to accept old notes after its expiration.

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However, the CBN governor did not mention a duration when the banks will stop collecting the old notes.

Section 20 (3) of the CBN act states: “Notwithstanding sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section, the bank shall have power, if directed to do so by the president and after giving reasonable notice in that behalf, to call in any of its notes or coins on payment of the face value thereof and any note or coin with respect to which a notice has been given under this sub-section, shall, on the expiration of the notice, cease to be legal tender, but, subject to section 22 of this act, shall be redeemed by the bank upon demand”.

Speaking further on the CBN act, he explained that even after the old currency has lost its legal tender status “we (CBN) are mandated to collect these money (old notes) and I stand with the house of representatives on this”.

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“What does that mean? It could (old notes) have lost its legal tender status which means we have moved on. But if you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank, we will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do exchange, we will give you. You will not lose your money. This is the assurance I give to Nigerians,” Emefiele said.

Editor’s note: The original story suggested that banks would continue to collect the old notes after the deadline. However, what Emefiele said was that the CBN, not the banks, will continue to collect the old notes. That means holders will deal directly with the CBN, not the banks.

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