Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the use of old ₦200 notes as legal tender until April 10, 2023.
This was disclosed in a broadcast to the nation today, one week after the CBN’s February 10 deadline had elapsed and a day after the Supreme Court had adjourned a suit brought by ten state governors over the naira redesign policy.
While the ₦200 notes remain legal tender pending the new deadline, the old ₦500 and ₦1000 notes are no longer legal tender. However, they can be redeemed at designated centers.
In his address, the president noted the difficulty encountered by Nigerians in accessing the new notes while explaining that the exercise had helped to bring in ₦2.1 trillion into the banking system.
“To further ease the supply pressures, particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old ₦200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023, to April 10, 2023, when the old ₦200 notes ceases to be legal tender,” he said.
Recall that the CBN had, in November 2022, announced its intention to redesign the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes as part of moves to control the amount of money in circulation while driving a cashless policy.
It has, however, been unable to ensure an adequate supply of the new notes leading to queues at ATMs and banking halls. Certain state governors have also taken the apex bank to the Supreme Court as they attempt to get a deadline suspension, while others have resorted to threats against businesses that reject the old notes as payment for services rendered.