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To Ease Naira Scarcity, Buhari Approves Recirculation of Old N200 Notes Till April 10

All existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points, he said.

Details later ….

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow the old 200 Naira notes remain legal tender until April 10, 2023, in order to improve  naira circulation in the country and ease pains experienced by Nigerians due to a currency redesign policy.

In the Thursday morning address, he expressed his sympathy with citizens over difficulties caused by the implementation of new monetary policies.

 To give succour to the citizenry he said, “I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 when the old N200 notes ceases to be legal tender.

“In line with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points.”

However a day before on Wednesday, Nigeria’s supreme court adjourned the hearing of a case brought against the CBN on the naira redesign policy.

Ruling on an exparte application, the court had last Wednesday granted an interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing the CBN’s February 10 deadline for the swapping of the old naira notes for new ones.

The one week extension means the legal tender status of the old Naira remains till February 22. 

In his address, Buhari acknowledged that the case is in court and pronouncements have been made.

He also addressed some of the reasons for the currency redesign policy.  

“Let me re-assure Nigerians, that strengthening our economy, enhancing security and blockage of leakages associated with illicit financial flows remain top priority of our administration.”

He further said he has directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that citizens  are adequately educated on the policy, and enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through availability of appropriate amounts of currency. He promised to crack down on saboteurs.

“I have similarly directed that the CBN should intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, so as to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.”

He assured that the CBN would  ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to citizens through the banks.

“I wish to once more appeal for your understanding till we overcome this difficult transient phase within the shortest possible time,” he pleaded. 

Buhari also made reference to the forthcoming elections, explaining that vote buying was one of the reasons the currency redesign policy was instituted in the first place.

 “On the 25th of February, 2023 the nation would be electing a new President and National Assembly members. I am aware that this new monetary policy has also contributed immensely to the minimization of the influence of money in politics.

“This is a positive departure from the past and represents a bold legacy step by this administration, towards laying a strong foundation for free and fair elections.”

He urged citizens to “vote for their candidates of choice without fear, because security shall be provided and your vote shall count.”

Demola Ojo