The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN said it will withdraw 200, 500 and 1000 bank notes from January 2023, issue and circulate new notes beginning from December 2022.
Consequently, the apex bank ordered members of the public to return the old notes to their banks while all banks should return the old notes in the vaults and from their customers to the CBN.
The withdrawal according to CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele is aimed at mopping up the over N2trillion currency outside the banking system with a view to curb continous rise in inflation.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, this afternoon, Emefiele said the most of the currency notes in circulation were outside bank vaults and that the apex bank would not allow the situation to continue.
The Governor added that the measure is also to tackle the increasing rates of counterfeiting especially at the higher denominations of N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
Emefiele said, “The Management of the CBN sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes at N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 levels.
“In line with this approval, we have finalized arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15, 2022. The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023 when the existing currencies shall seize to be legal tender.
“Accordingly, all Deposit Money Banks currently holding the existing denominations of the currency may begin returning these notes back to the CBN effective immediately.
“The newly designed currency will be released to the banks in the order of First-come-First-serve basis.Customers of banks are enjoined to begin paying into their bank accounts the existing currency to enable them withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins in mid-December 2022.
“All banks are therefore expected to keep open, their currency processing centers from Monday to Saturday so as to accommodate all cash that will be returned by their customers.For the purpose of this transition from existing to new notes, bank charges for cash deposits are hereby suspended with immediate effect.
“Therefore, DMBs are to note that no bank customer shall bear any charges for cash returned/paid into their accounts.
“Members of the public are to please note that the present notes remain legal tender and should not be rejected as a means of exchange for purchase of goods and services.
“We would like to use this opportunity to reassure the general public that the CBN would continue to monitor both the financial system in particular, and the economy in general, and always act in good faith for the achievement of the Bank’s objectives and the betterment of the country.