President Muhammadu Buhari has officially announced that the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.
He made this known on the morning of Thursday, February 16th, while addressing Nigerians. He also apologised to Nigerians over the difficulties they had been experiencing in accessing the scarce new naira notes.
He however said that the old N200 note will be legal tender for the next 60 days, till April 10th, 2023, while imploring Nigerians to deposit their old N500 and 1000 notes with the CBN.
The president said, “Let me reassure Nigerians, that strengthening our economy, enhancing security and blockage of leakages associated with illicit financial flows remain top priority of our administration. And I shall remain committed to my oath of protecting and advancing the interest of Nigerians and the nation, at all times.
“In the last quarter of 2022, I authorised the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 Nigerian banknotes.For a smooth transition, I similarly approved that the redesigned banknotes should circulate concurrently with the old bank notes, till 31 January 2023, before the old notes, cease to be legal tender.
“During the extended phase of the deadline for currency swap, (from January 31st till February 10th) I listened to invaluable pieces of advice from well meaning citizens and institutions across the nation.
“I similarly consulted widely with representatives of the State Governors as well as the Council of State. Above all, as an administration that respects the rule of law, I have also noted that the subject matter is before the courts of our land and some pronouncements have been made.
“To further ease the supply pressures particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 when the old N200 notes ceases to be legal tender.”
He continued, “In line with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points. I admonish every citizen to strive harder to make their deposits by taking advantage of the platforms and windows being provided by the CBN.”