Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a 10-day extension of the deadline for the use of old naira notes across Nigeria.
The CBN governor, who spoke to journalists Sunday morning, said he had the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the extension.
The new deadline is now 10 February instead of the former 31 January deadline, he said.
Mr Emefiele spoke in Daura, Katsina State, after a meeting with the president who is in his home state for official duties.
Mr Emefiele said Nigerians, who are yet to change their naira notes from the old to new ones, now have an opportunity to do so.
He said people must utilise the opportunity because the deadline will not be extended again.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the CBN last October introduced redesigned 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes and gave a deadline of 31st January for the use of the old notes.
However, the new notes have been scarce, thus leading to calls for an extension.
Mr Emefiele did not elaborate on what the central bank was doing to resolve the scarcity of the new notes.
Last October, the apex bank announced its decision to redesign the notes, adding that members of the public were hoarding banknotes, with statistics showing that over 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks.
On Sunday, Mr Emefiele assured that the currency has yielded significant results.
“Available data at the bank showed that in 2015, currency-in-circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As of October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes,” he said.
He said since the commencement of the programme, the CBN has collected about N1.9 trillion, “leaving us with about N900 billion (N500b + N1.9trillion).
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“We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system.
According to him, Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and the vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes, leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitisation team exercise.
“Aside from those holding illicit, stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.”
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