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Finally! CBN Confirms Old 200, 500, And 1,000 Naira Notes Remain Legal Tender


  • The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes until December 31, 2023, in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling.
  • The CBN had remained quiet on the status of the old banknotes, causing confusion for Nigerians, small businesses owners and even commercial banks.
  • After pressure from the public and the government, the CBN finally made the decision to bring back the old notes.


Nigeria’s apex financial institution, the Central Bank (CBN), had remained quiet on whether the old 200, 500, and 1,000 Naira notes remained legal tender or not, until now. The silence had spanned a period of nearly 10 days, after a Supreme Court ruling that the banknotes would remain legal until December 31, 2023.


The confusion that the silence caused was quite palpable as many small businesses ground to a stop. Even commercial banks, who should be in the know, were left in some sort of limbo.


It always looked like the old Naira notes would make a comeback because the CBN have been backpedaling ever since its initial January 31, 2023, deadline was moved. After extending the deadline for two weeks, Nigerians were still not able to swap out their old notes for new ones because they were unavailable.


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What followed was a period of extreme suffering as several people were left without cash to pay for petty purchases and most especially, commercial transportation.


Then, President Buhari announced that the old 200 Naira notes would be brought back into circulation to ease the suffering, but even that measure was not enough.


Eventually, after the presidential election of February 2023, the pressure was on the apex bank to bring back the old notes and that is exactly what it did. In a document shared online and signed by Isa AbdulMumin, the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, the bank said that it is making the change in compliance with court orders.


This statement comes a few hours after the office of the President denied directing the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to disregard the earlier mentioned Supreme Court ruling.


Here is the full statement below:


“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court judgement of March 3, 2023.


“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.