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Breaking: CBN Bows To Pressure, Extends Naira Notes Swap Deadline



President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the request by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for the extension of the deadline for the swap of old naira notes to the redesigned ones.

The new deadline, which has caused a lot of apprehensions in the country, had earlier been fixed for Tuesday, January 31.

The deadline has now been moved to to February 10, 2023 while another seven-day grace has been granted to enable Nigerians deposit their old notes at the apex bank after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its legal tender status.

This decision to shift the deadline for currency swap was reached after Buhari’s meeting with the CBN governor on Sunday in Daura, his country home.

Emefiele, who briefed newsmen after the meeting, revealed that 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system has been recovered.

He said: “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.

“Aside from those holding illicit/stolen naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.

“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following:

“10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their legal tender status.

“Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilisation and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives.

“A 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.

“We therefore appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch free implementation of this very important process for programme.”

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