N1,000, N500, and N200 Notes No Longer Legal Tender,  Emefiele Insists

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said Tuesday that the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes must be exchanged by the deadline of February 10, 2023. 

The deadline has been the subject of debate, with some governors taking the central bank to court and the court preventing the bank from carrying it out. Despite this, the CBN insisted that the date is still sacred.

At a meeting with diplomats on Tuesday in Abuja, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made this statement.

He acknowledged the drawbacks brought on by the naira redesign policy, such as hoarding and increased agitation, but urged Nigerians, especially those in positions of power, not to overstate them in order to avoid spreading panic.

The CBN chief maintained that the benefits are significant and will eventually lead to a cashless policy while acknowledging that the transition to using the new naira notes may be difficult.

The head of the CBN also threatened to bring legal action against point-of-sale (PoS) operators who charge excessive fees for transactions.

Emefiele reemphasized the advantages of the naira redesign, claiming that it has aided in lowering inflation and is causing exchange rates to moderate.

He also discussed the state of the country’s economy with the corps members, but he also expressed concerns about rising inflation, which he blamed on unrest, election-related expenditure, and the impact of the global market on the economy.

He estimated the country’s growth rate for 2023 to be 3.6 percent, stating that the economy will develop at a “subdued rate” as a result of a lack of petroleum products, increased expenditure that is being curtailed, and rising debt levels.

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