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CBN: Deadline remains Jan 31 for old naira notes

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After the Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, reaffirmed the position of the top bank.
Emefiele further argued that Nigerians had been given adequate time to exchange their old notes for new ones.
This is because he also claimed that since the redesign of the three banknotes, the number of kidnappings and ransom demands had decreased.

However, a lot of Nigerians have bemoaned the lack of availability and shortage of the new notes, criticizing banks for still handing out old naira notes to consumers as of today despite the deadline being just a few days away.

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The CBN launched a national currency swap operation to allow people in unbanked areas to exchange their old notes before the deadline of January 31 while excluding Lagos and Abuja mobile money/Point of Sales operators from the program in an effort to ensure that everyone is carried along.

In order to increase the circulation of the redesigned naira notes, the CBN recently instructed commercial banks to immediately suspend over-the-counter withdrawal of the new notes and load their automated teller machines with them.

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However, despite the apex bank’s efforts, bank clients have persisted in bemoaning the lack of availability of the new notes.

According to The PUNCH, in a similar event, the House of Representatives questioned commercial banks on Tuesday regarding the shortage of fresh naira notes.

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On Wednesday, an ad hoc committee of the House led by the majority leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, will meet with the managing directors and chief executive officers of the banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee (tomorrow).

The purpose of the conference is for the banks to address the purported supply shortage from the Central Bank of Nigeria. Following that, the lawmakers will question the apex bank’s management.

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The House also decided to add a six-month window to the period for exchanging old notes for new ones.

In the meantime, the Senate made a similar request to the top bank on Tuesday, asking for an extension of the deadline from January 31 to July 31, 2023.

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The CBN revealed its intention to redesign the three banknotes on October 26, 2022. On November 23, 2022, President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) introduced the revised N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, and the apex bank set a deadline of January 31 for the existing notes to remain valid.

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