Old, new naira notes to coexist until 31 December

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By Kelvin Okojie

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained that the old and new notes of the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations would continue to coexist and remain legal tenders until the expiration of the judgment of the Supreme Court, which is 31 December 2023. Ahmed Bello Umar who is the Director of Currency Operations Department of the Central Bank spoke recently about the current circular from the apex bank while answering questions on Arise Television and further clarified the position of the bank on the issue.

Umar insisted that the news about the cessation of the new notes was false, dispelling the publication made by an online media platform. He said that as a law-abiding institution, the CBN has complied with the judgment of the Supreme Court and insists that both notes would remain legal tenders until 31 December.

“We have seen some publications in some online media claiming that we were going to change our mind, continue with using the old notes and withdrawing the new notes that were introduced in October,” Umar said. “The truth is that CBN has already issued a press release reiterating that there has been no decision taken to withdraw the new notes. The new notes and the old would continue to circulate in the system up to when the old notes would be completely withdrawn on 31 December 2023, in compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

He explained that since the introduction of the old notes back into the economy, the quantity of new and old notes in circulation has increased to 2.34 trillion. “So there is no truth in the news making the rounds that CBN was going to stop issuing new notes and go back to the old notes. The new and old notes are circulating side by side, and as of the 18th of April, we had over 2.34 trillion in circulation. If you recall, in October 2022, the currency in circulation was over 2.33 trillion, but what we have currently—the old and the new—is about 2.34 trillion as of April 18, 2023. So the two notes will continue to circulate alongside until the period when the Supreme Court has given the order that the old notes will seize to be legal tender as of 31 December 2023.”

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