The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, urged Nigerians to comply with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the successful implementation of the currency redesign policy.
The CBN governor also said the bank has directed all commercial banks to make all old N200 notes readily available to Nigerians.
Speaking to state house correspondents after a meeting with the president and the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on new naira redesign and naira swap policy, Mr Emefiele disclosed that he had met with about 15 bank heads.
The new directive is expected to increase the circulation of the N200 note and ease business transactions in Nigeria’s cash-based economy.
Earlier on Thursday, as part of measures to ease the hardship being faced by Nigerians due to the cash crunch, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the continued usage of the old N200 notes.
“To further ease the supply pressures, particularly to our citizens, 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 February 10, 2023, to April 10, 2023, when the old N200 notes cease to be legal tender,” the president said in a broadcast.
Reacting to the new development, the CBN governor appealed to Nigerians to “allow the policy to work”.
“I can only appeal to Nigerians, let’s allow this policy to work. This policy is one that goes to solve the problem of reducing corruption and illicit financial flows.
“This policy goes to resolve some of the problems in the economy, and also goes to reduce the issue of insecurity in the country. These three issues which are the tripod of this administration policy are all embedded in this policy.
“There are some temporary pains but I can assure Nigerians that the long-run benefit to Nigerians is overwhelming and we should just give it a chance to work,” he said.
In his Thursday broadcast, Mr Buhari acknowledged the hardship Nigerians face due to the challenges associated with the implementation of the new notes.
“I am deeply pained and sincerely sympathize with you all, over these unintended outcomes,” he said.
READ ALSO: UPDATED: Buhari approves continued use of old N200 notes
To address the concerns, the president said he has directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that citizens are adequately educated on the policy, enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through the availability of appropriate amounts of currency, and facilitate deposits.
The CBN had on 26 October 2022 announced its intention to redesign the 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes to tackle corruption and counterfeiting.
Since the notes were unveiled, Nigerians across different parts of the country have been struggling to access them from banks and ATM cash points.
Last week, the Supreme Court gave a restraining order barring the implementation of the 10 February deadline set by the CBN to phase out the old notes.
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