Tinubu’s Advisory Council Urges Extension of Old Naira Notes Validity

The policy advisory council of President Bola Tinubu has made a formal request to the federal government, urging them to extend the validity of the old naira notes.

The council proposes an extension from the original deadline of December 31, 2023, to a new deadline of December 31, 2024.

This request highlights the council’s aim to provide more time for the transition and circulation of the new currency notes within the Nigerian economy.

The recommendation was made in a report, titled, ‘Policy Advisory Council Report: National Economy Sub-committee’.

The council also suggested the implementation of a gradual phase-out (on a monthly basis) of the old currency notes.

“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.

But this was later extended to February 10 amid a nationwide outburst in protest of what was described as poor implementation of the policy.

On March 3, a Supreme Court judgement invalidated the naira redesign policy introduced by the apex bank as citizens’ angst spread across the country.

Delivering judgment in a suit instituted by three states of the federation, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender 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 characterized 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.”

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