The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has advised Nigerians to start rejecting old naira notes from banks.
The apex bank further reminded bank customers that the old notes ceased to be a legal currency on January 31 and there were no plans to extend the deadline.
Rekiyat Yusuf, Deputy Director, Currency Operations, made the announcement in Lokoja, Kogi State, on Thursday, during a presentation to market participants regarding the new naira notes.
She stated that any bank found issuing outdated notes to customers will face appropriate sanctions in the future.
The CBN, therefore, directed customers to report any bank still dispensing old notes either over the counter or through the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to the apex bank.
Yusuf further urged traders to avail themselves of the window provided by the January 31st deadline by visiting banks to exchange the old notes with the new ones.
“There is no reason for banks to still be stocking their Automated Teller Machines with old notes as the Apex bank has made enough redesigned notes available for dispensing to members of the public. Any bank caught would be made to face appropriate sanction”, she said.
In a response to a customer over the continued dispensing of old naira notes via ATMs, Yusuf said, “If banks give you old notes, reject them and return them to the banks and report the banks to us immediately for appropriate action. We have given them enough new currency notes to dispense to replace the old ones in circulation.
“Carry your old naira notes in your possession to the bank, and deposit them without any charges attached. CBN has directed commercial banks not to charge anything on such deposits. By 31st January, these present naira notes will not be accepted for buying and selling in this country.”
Yusuf outlined the reasons for redesigning the notes to include curbing terrorism, kidnapping for ransom, and endemic corruption in society, adding that action was taken to control inflation.
“There is also the need to fulfill international best practices of redesigning currency once in five to eight years. We are long overdue since the present currency came into operation in 1984,” she said.
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