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Banks Will Accept Old Notes After Deadline, Says Emefiele



The Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, said on Tuesday that commercial banks in Nigeria will continue to accept old naira notes from clients after the deadline of February 10. 

Emefiele said this while testifying before the House-established ad hoc committee on the CBN’s naira redesign policy, though he did not specify how long the banks would accept the expired notes. 

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, accused the CBN governor of violating Section 20 of the CBN Act, which he claimed requires commercial banks to accept old notes even after the deadline has passed.

“After the expiration date, such naira notes changed will no longer be legal tender but it also says that even five months, three months, or two months after, even in June, all the old notes presented to the bank shall be redeemed by the bank,” Gbajabiamila had stated in a Thursday speech.

Speaking to the ad hoc committee, Emefiele declared that he agreed with the legislators about Section 20 of the CBN Act.

“Section 20 says even after the old currency has lost its legal tender status that we are mandated to collect that money. And I stand with the House of Reps on this,” he stated, adding that, “if you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank. We will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do an exchange — we give you. You will not lose your money. This is the assurance I give to Nigerians.”

Emefiele apologised to the lawmakers for failing to answer the previous summons, which the chairman said was accepted.

He claimed that the policy ought to have been implemented years ago and that the CBN had just taken advantage of the chance to increase the economy’s cashless nature. He predicted that Nigerians would quickly see the advantages of the strategy. 

After the lengthy hearing, which lasted over an hour, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the chairman of the ad hoc committee, requested an executive (closed-door) session with the committee’s members.


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