By Uche Amunike
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has asked Nigerians to stop offering the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes as legal tenders in the country and begin to use the Nigerian new notes, as the old notes stopped being accepted as legal tenders on Friday, February 10, 2023.
This was made known to journalists in Bauchi, as the CBN Branch Controller in Bauchi state, Haladu Idris Andaza addressed them. According to Andaza, customers are free to deposit all their old notes at the Central bank, as commercial banks will no longer accept them. They are mandated to do this in all the 36 states in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Hear him: ‘In the last 24 hours, we have been inundated by questions from various angles of the general public about our operational guidelines on the old currency notes, be that as it may, there are so many questions here and there which people have been asking about,’ Andaza said.
‘So for the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that CBN is ready and is opened to receive all of those old notes based on certain conditions and criteria. Customers are free to come to the Bank and deposit which they cannot do at the Commercial Banks anymore because the currency has seized to be a legal tender since the 10th of this month.’
‘Consequently, the management of the CBN decided that those customers will have a sigh of relief by coming to the offices of the CBN in all the 36 states in the Federation including FCT to deposit their money.The customer has to go to the CBN portal and fill a form in the portal, there will be a form there concerning this currency redesign and exchange. After filling the form, you generate a code, you either print it or come with it in your mobile phone, give us the code and the information contained therein. In the form, you are expected to provide all the basic information about yourself, your account details and the amount you want to deposit.’
‘By the time you have done it correctly, you come to the CBN where the code will be accepted from you as well as the money, process and confirm the genuineness or otherwise of the money to avoid receiving fake notes because there are some fake notes in circulation now.’
This decision by the apex bank was taken barely one week after three states, namely Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara filed a suit against the federal government at the Supreme Court, as both the old Naira notes and the recently introduced Nigerian New notes became scarce as a result of the new policy in the bank.
In their suits, the three state governments expressed their worries over the impact the Nigerian new notes policy had on the residents of their states, asking the Supreme Court to place a restraining order that would compel the government and the CBN to stop the implementation of the policy. This led to the Court, issuing an interim injunction that restrained the federal government from suspending the acceptance of the old notes February 10 deadline.