The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for swapping old Naira notes for new ones to February 10, 2023.
The new date is 10 days later than the previous deadline. In addition to extending the deadline, the CBN added a grace period of seven days when Nigerians can still deposit old notes directly to the institution.
Before the extension, citizens had been in a state of panic as many were still finding it hard to obtain the new notes. Over the weekend, banks were operating to swap the old notes but many customers, especially in Lagos, complained that they had to ‘buy’ the new Naira notes.
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See some Tweets from bitter Nigerians who had to buy the new notes for more money:
People now buy new naira notes with old naira notes adding N1,000 charges for every N10,000 you buy.
Omo—I understand this very phase is hard but people are very wicked.
— SarkinFOTO (@FotoNugget) January 28, 2023
They’re now selling the new naira notes lol.
11k buy 10k cash
— NobodyHoly (@DAuditor4) January 28, 2023
One day before extending the deadline, the CBN had been insistent on keeping to the deadline. It is likely why many were pressured into doing all they could to get rid of the old Naira notes.
“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr. President’s approval for the following: a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN loses their Legal Tender Status,” Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, said in a statement on Sunday.
He added that the CBN staff were still engaged in mass mobilization and monitoring the swap of the old notes. They are working together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC to carry out their duties.
Many public commentators believe that the CBN was sticking to the January 31 deadline to prevent vote buying in the upcoming election, scheduled for February 25 and March 11.
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