Banks Will Accept Old Naira Notes After Deadline – Emefiele
You will not lose your money.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has said that banks in the country will continue to accept the old Naira notes after the stipulated deadline.
The apex bank recently extended the deadline for the swap of the newly-designed N1,000, N500, and N200 notes following an outcry from Nigerians.
However, while appearing before the House of Representatives committee on the new naira redesign and swap policy Tuesday, Emefiele said the CBN will still accept the old notes after the deadline.
He said subject to Section 20, Subsection 3 of the CBN Act 2007 and even after the old currencies have lost legal tender status, the CBN will continue to accept the old notes.
The CBN chief who had earlier failed to honour the House’s invitations explained to the lawmakers that he was out of the country.
According to him, “We (CBN) are mandated to collect these money (old naira notes) and I stand with the House of Representatives on this.”
“What does that mean? It could (old naira notes) have lost its legal tender status which means we have moved on. But if you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank, we will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do exchange, we will give you. You will not lose your money. That is the assurance I give to Nigerians.”
Speaking about the redesign of the naira, he said CBN’s actions were in line with international best practices and the apex bank has to be in control of the currency in circulation.
Mr. Emefiele said in 2015, N1.4 trillion was in circulation, and by last year it had risen to N3.33 trillion.
He explained that the reason for directing banks to ensure only ATM withdrawals was to limit the daily withdrawal of individuals.
The CBN governor decried the trend of the new notes being sighted at parties and stated he was in meetings with commercial banks to mitigate it.
He agreed that the policies would hurt some persons but claimed it was in the interest of the country especially in combating insecurity.
He, therefore, appealed to lawmakers to allow the programme to succeed.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, would go on to state that he would not hesitate to ask the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, to issue an arrest warrant on Emiefele to compel him to appear before the House.
It would be recalled that the apex bank fixed the 31 January deadline for the usage of the old notes.
However, the scarcity of the new notes forced the House to set up an ad-hoc committee to resolve the difficulties between the CBN and commercial banks, despite the insistence of Emefiele that many of the banks were hoarding the notes.