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Emefiele directs banks to make old N200 notes available, urges calm



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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has directed the country’s commercial banks to make the old N200 notes available to Nigerians.

Emefiele disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

The CBN governor said he had met the banks’ leadership and given them directives on how to make the currency notes available to the public.

The scarcity of the naira notes has crippled activities in the country for more than one week with many Nigerians trooping to banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) stands daily to withdraw cash for personal and family needs.

The situation has led to protests in Ogun, Oyo, and Edo States, with three people reportedly killed during a protest in the latter on Wednesday.

President Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday morning extended the validity of the old N200 notes till April 10.

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He also directed the CBN to circulate the banknotes.

The president, however, declared that the old N500 and N1,000 notes had ceased to longer legal tender in the country.

At the briefing, the CVB governor urged Nigerians to allow the policy on the redesign of the naira to work.

He said: “I can only appeal to Nigerians to allow this policy to work.

“The president has given his directives; I have met with about 15 banks this morning and given them directives on how they should make the old N200 notes available.”

He also dismissed the Supreme Court judgement which upheld old N1,000, N500, and N200 naira notes as legal tender.

The president’s decision, according to him, was final.

Emefiele added: “The truth is this, we are all servants. We are serving the Nigerians as far as I am concerned. The Attorney-General of the Federation has spoken on this matter and the president has sealed up the whole of the issue in his broadcast this morning.”

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