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CBN Governor Bows To Pressure, Says Banks Will Accept Old Notes After February 10 Deadline

Governor of Central Bank, Emefiele also apologised to the lawmakers for failing to answer the previous summons. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says commercial banks will still accept old naira notes from customers after the February 10 deadline. He said this while appearing before the House of Representatives committee on the CBN naira redesign policy on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Before the CBN governor shifted the deadline from January 31 to February 10, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila had accused him of breaching Section 20 of the CBN Act. According to him, the section mandates commercial banks to accept old notes even after the deadline.

“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 said.

However, while addressing the lawmakers, the CBN governor agreed with Gbajabiamila on Section 20 of the CBN Act. He said, “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 further assured Nigerians that they have the opportunity to take their old naira notes to banks after the deadline and get new ones.

“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,” he said. Afterwards, he apologised to the lawmakers for failing to adhere to their previous summons.

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