The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that the deadline for the old naira notes to remain valid is January 31.
The CBN said this in posts on its social media pages on Saturday.
“Deadline for the return of old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remains January 31 2023,” the post reads.
The post was accompanied by a video of Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, in which he said there are no plans to shift the deadline.
The video was from a media briefing held on January 24, after the bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
“I must say here that unfortunately, I don’t have good news for those who feel that we should shift the deadline,” Emefiele had said.
“My apologies. The reason is because just as the president has said on more than two occasions, and even to people privately, that for us, 90 days — in fact, we feel it’s 100 days — is enough for anybody who has the old currency to deposit the money in the banks.
“And we took every measure to ensure that all the banks were open or remain still open to receive all old currencies; 100 days, we believe is more than adequate.
“We called on the banks and said ‘not only are we requesting you to increase your banking hours so you can receive old currency, but we are also asking you to keep your doors open on Saturdays.
“The banks did not have any reason to even keep their banking halls open on Saturdays, neither did they see the kind of rush that they anticipated. There were normal people who came to deposit money into the banks.
“We do not see any reason to begin to talk about a shift because people could not deposit their old monies into their banks.”
Meanwhile, individuals and groups have called on the CBN to extend the deadline over the unavailability of the new naira notes.
But in a statement earlier on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari had said the government is aware of reports of long queues at banks, adding that “a number of initiatives by the Central Bank and all commercial banks are underway to speed up distribution of the new notes and do all that is necessary to forestall cash squeeze and chaos”.