The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will continue to be accepted as legal tender indefinitely.
This decision comes after new currency notes were introduced last year, initially intended to replace the old ones.
In a statement, Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications, said the change is in line with international standards and aims to prevent previous issues from reoccurring.
AbdulMumin maintained that all banknotes issued by the CBN, as stated in the CBN Act of 2007, will remain legal tender beyond the initial deadline of December 31, 2023.
According to him, the apex bank is collaborating with relevant authorities to address an existing court ruling on the matter.
AbdulMumin pointed out that all denominations of banknotes, both old and redesigned, will continue to be issued and accepted by deposit money banks (DMBs).
He urged Nigerians to accept all Naira banknotes, whether old or redesigned, for everyday transactions and to handle them with care to ensure their durability.
The new naira notes were introduced by the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, arguing that the move would help, among other things, fight inflation, kidnapping, and curb vote-buying months before the 2023 general elections.
During the period when the new naira notes were introduced, Nigerians were thrown into panic mode as traders groaned over the lack of patronage owing to the scarcity.
ATMs across the country were jam-packed with residents struggling to access the new naira notes as only a few of the machines functioned while banks only accepted deposits from customers, turning back requests for withdrawals.
POS operators made a brisk business of the situation by charging N500 per N5000 withdrawal.