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Banks Must Accept Old Naira Notes After Feb. 10 Deadline — Emefiele Assures Nigerians

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The Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said commercial banks must accept the old Naira notes even after the expiration of the February 10 deadline.

Emefiele announced this on Tuesday while appearing before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee looking into the implementation of the policy.

The CBN governor said he agrees with section 20(3) of the CBN Act, which provides that commercial banks must accept old notes after a deadline.

Section 20 (3) of the Act says: “Notwithstanding Sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section, the Bank shall have power, if directed to do so by the President and after giving reasonable notice in that behalf, to call in any of its notes or coins on payment of the face value thereof and any note or coin with respect to which a notice has been given under this Sub-section, shall, on the expiration of the notice, cease to be legal tender, but, subject to section 22 of this Act, shall be redeemed by the Bank upon demand.”

Although Emefiele had on Sunday announced February 17 as the “grace period” for the Nigerians to deposit the money, the lawmakers are insisting that it must be months, not days.

In his speech, Emefiele said “the law which says even after the old currency has lost its legal tender status that we are mandated to collect this money. And I stand with the House of Reps on this. What does that mean? It could have lost its legal tender status which means we have moved on.

“But if you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank we will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do an exchange—we will give you. You will not lose your money. This is the assurance I give to Nigerians,” he said.

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