The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced on Tuesday that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will continue to be recognized as legal tender indefinitely. This decision diverges from the initial plan to redesign these denominations, which the CBN had disclosed on October 26, 2022, as a measure to assert control over the currency in circulation.
Despite the introduction of new currency notes last year and the anticipated cessation of legal tender status for the old notes, the CBN extended the deadline, citing adherence to international best practices and a precautionary approach “to forestall a repeat of earlier experiences.”
According to the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, all banknotes issued by the CBN, as per Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will persist as legal tender indefinitely. The initial deadline of December 31, 2023, is now null, and the CBN is actively working with relevant authorities to address an existing court ruling on the matter.
CBN branches will continue the issuance and acceptance of all denominations of banknotes, both old and redesigned, to and from deposit money banks (DMBs). The CBN emphasizes the importance for the general public to accept all Naira banknotes in day-to-day transactions and handle them with care to safeguard the lifecycle of the currency.