The President Bola Tinubu’s policy advisory committee has requested that the federal government prolong the expiration date of the old naira notes to December 31, 2024 in light of the current economic situation.
A paper titled “Policy Advisory Council Report: National Economy Sub-committee” contained the suggestion.
The council also recommended that the old currency notes be gradually phased out (on a monthly basis).
“Extend the December 31st, 2023, deadline to December 31st, 2024 (if required),” the document reads.
“Bring in new notes through the deposit money banks by 5% monthly and take out the old notes through the deposit money banks by the same 5% (12-18 months).”
In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, the erstwhile governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
Following the unveiling of the redesigned naira notes on November 23, 2022; the deadline for the validity of the old notes was fixed for January 31, 2023.
However, this was eventually extended until February 10 after a widespread uprising over what was perceived as the policy’s inadequate implementation.
On March 3, as anxiety among the populace grew across the nation, the supreme court rejected the apex bank’s naira redesign strategy.
A seven-member panel of the supreme court ruled in a case brought by three states of the federation that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes are still valid until December 31, 2023.
About two weeks after the court ruling, the CBN complied with the directive, instructing commercial banks, in a statement, that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterised the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, deposit money banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the supreme court ruling of March 3, 2023,” the statement had read.
“Accordingly, the CBN met with the bankers’ committee and has directed that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.”