Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow the old 200 naira notes and redesigned 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes to coexist.
Buhari gave the directive to CBN in a national broadcast aired on national stations.
The president said only the 200 old naira notes will continue to be legal tender till Monday, April 10.
“I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from Feb. 10, 2023 to April 10 2023,” Buhari said.
“In line with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points.”
Buhari in October 2022 approved the CBN’s request to redesign the Nigerian currency notes – and phase out the old naira notes by the end of January 2023. He later gave an extension till Friday, February 10.
A Supreme Court ruling that suspended the deadline preceded the expiration of the notice issued by the CBN to commercial to stop receiving the old naira notes.
Businesses, commercial services and individuals were hard-hit by the implementation of the Naira redesign policy – shortage of cash – which culminated into violent protests and attack on banks by individuals in different parts of Nigeria.
Amid the anger and frustration, CBN on Tuesday, February 14 declared that the old ₦200, ₦500, ₦1000 notes ceased being legal tender in Nigeria on Friday, February 10, 2023.
But Buhari in his national broadcast, however, said he sympathisers with Nigerians over the difficulties in accessing the new Naira notes.
“Let me assure Nigerians that our admin. will continue to assess the implementation with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened,” Buhari said. “In this regard, the CBN shall ensure that new notes become more available & accessible to our citizens through the banks.”
He insisted that the Naira redesign was aimed at curbing inflation, and corruption, and improving transparency in cash flow to all sectors of the Nigerian economy.