President Muhammadu Buhari has granted a 60-day new lease of life to the old N200 banknote, allowing it to remain as legal tender alongside the new redesigned version.
The President approved the reintroduction of the old N200 note as legal tender alongside the new N200 note until April 10, 2023.
The Presidential approval came in an early morning nationwide broadcast on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Buhari said that the approval was necessitated by the need to cushion the hardship experienced by citizens following the implementation of the new monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He disclosed that the approval was also as a result of wide consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The Nigerian leader said: “I similarly consulted widely with representatives of the State Governors as well as the Council of State. Above all, as an administration that respect the rule of law, I have also noted that the subject matter is before the court of our land and some pronouncements had been made.
“To further ease the supply pressure particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank note be released back into circulation and that should also be allowed to circulate as a legal tender with the new N200, N500 and N1,000 bank notes for 60 days from Feb. 10, 2023 to April 10, 2023 when the old N200 ceases to be legal tender.
“In line section 20 sub-section 3 of the CBN Act 2007, all the existing old N1,000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at CBN and designated points.”
According to him, the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.
He apologised to Nigerians over the difficulty experienced in the implementation of the Naira redesign policy.
Listing the advantages of the ongoing financial reforms embarked upon by the apex bank, the President challenged the citizenry to make their deposits of the old notes by taking advantage of the platforms and windows being provided by the CBN.
He explained that he has since directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that citizens are adequately educated on the new policy, enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through availability of appropriate amount of currency and ability to make deposits.
He also directed the CBN to intensify collaboration with anti- corruption agencies in checking the activities of those who were bent on sabotaging the smooth implementation of the new Naira redesign policy.
He reassured that government would continue to assess the implementation of the policy with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened while urging the CBN to ensure the availability of the new Naira notes across the country.
Calling for more understanding from the citizenry, the President reiterated the commitment of his administration to handover a financially stable economy to the incoming administration on May 29, 2023.
He lamented that the currency in circulation grew from N1.4 trillion in 2015 when he assumed office to N3.23 trillion at the end of 2022.
However, according to him, N2.1 trillion of the cash in circulation have been retrieved since the launch of the Naira redesign policy of the Federal Government on October 26, 2022.
“The proportion of currency outside banks grew from 78 per cent in 2015 to 85 per cent in 2022. As of October 2022, therefore, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the banking system while N2.7 trillion remained permanently outside the system; thereby distorting the financial policy and efficient management of inflation;
“The huge volume of banknotes outside the banking system has proven to be practically unavailable for economic activities and by implication, retard the attainment of potential economic growth,” Buhari said.
He stated further: “I have been reliably informed that since the commencement of this program, about N2.1 trillion out of the banknotes previously held outside the banking system, had been successfully retrieved.
“This represents about 80 per cent of such funds. In the short to medium and long terms.”
It would be recalled that the President on February 3, 2023, appealed to Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch after the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) urged him to allow all old notes to circulate in the system to ease the hardship on ordinary Nigerians.
Instructively, the CBN had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023, in the wake of strident complaints across the country, but the Supreme Court held that the Federal Government, the CBN, and commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.
-All Rights Reserved-
Permission to use any material, including text, still photograph, audio and video from this site is granted subject to permission being formally sought and, if granted, appropriate credit must duly be given to The News Room as the source.