The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes indefinitely. In a statement titled “CBN To Allow Old Design Naira Banknotes As Legal Tender, Ad Infinitum,” the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, announced this decision on Tuesday. The rationale behind this move is to align with international best practices and prevent a recurrence of past challenges associated with implementing such policies.
The CBN had introduced redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations in October 2022, with specific deadlines set for the cessation of the old design as legal tenders. However, the recent statement clarifies that the legal tender status of the old design of N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will now be extended indefinitely.
The statement emphasizes, “Thus, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, in accordance with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will continue to remain legal tender, ad infinitum, even beyond the initial December 31, 2023, deadline.” The CBN is actively working with relevant authorities to overturn an existing court ruling on the same matter.
As a result, all CBN branches nationwide will continue to both issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, whether old or redesigned, to and from deposit money banks. The public is urged to accept all Naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for daily transactions and handle them with care to preserve the lifespan of the banknotes. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to adopt alternative payment methods and electronic channels for their day-to-day transactions.