Old Naira Notes To Remain Legal Tender Indefinitely, Says CBN

Old Naira Notes To Remain Legal Tender Indefinitely, Says CBN

 In a surprising turn of events, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the indefinite extension of the legal tender status for the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

Despite introducing new currency notes last year. This decision follows a series of tumultuous events that unfolded after the initial introduction.

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Last year, the CBN, under the leadership of former governor Godwin Emefiele, rolled out new currency notes as a strategic move to combat issues such as kidnapping, vote-buying, and inflation.

However, this initiative triggered a cash crunch, causing panic among the populace and sparking violent protests in certain regions of Nigeria.

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To address the crisis, the CBN had initially set a deadline of December 31, 2023, for the old notes to cease as legal tender.

However, in a recent statement, the apex bank declared that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would remain legal tender indefinitely.

Citing international best practices and a desire to avoid a recurrence of the earlier disruptions.

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Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications at CBN, clarified that all banknotes issued by the central bank, both old and redesigned.

Will continue to be accepted and issued by deposit money banks. This move comes after months of uncertainty and legal battles.

Including a Supreme Court order restraining the CBN from implementing its initial deadlines for phasing out the old banknotes.

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The initial intent behind the introduction of new currency notes was to address pressing issues in the country.

Emefiele, while still in office, asserted that the redesign would contribute to the fight against inflation, kidnapping, and vote-buying, especially in the lead-up to the 2023 general elections.

However, the abrupt cash crunch on the eve of the elections triggered widespread panic and violent protests in some areas.

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The situation led to a reevaluation of the policy, with the CBN extending the validity of the old notes until December 2023.

Now, with a new governor, Yemi Cardoso, at the helm, the CBN has taken the unprecedented step of declaring the old currency notes legal tenders indefinitely.

As Nigeria grapples with the repercussions of this currency saga, it remains to be seen how this decision will impact the economy.

Public sentiment, and the ongoing legal proceedings involving former governor Emefiele, who faces a 20-count fraud charge.

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The central bank's assurance that both old and redesigned notes will be accepted for day-to-day transactions aims to instill confidence in the public and ease concerns about the country's monetary stability.

 Nigeria's financial landscape is experiencing a significant shake-up with the CBN's recent announcement.

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The decision to keep the old notes as legal tender indefinitely reflects a pragmatic approach to the challenges posed by the initial currency redesign.

Only time will tell how this move shapes the nation's economic trajectory and whether it provides the stability and reassurance the citizens urgently need.

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