The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said banks will continue to accept the old naira notes even after the February 10 deadline for swapping with the newly-designed currency notes.
Emefiele stated this while appearing before the House of Representatives committee on the new naira redesign and swap policy on Tuesday.
According to the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, the CBN Act mandates commercial banks to accept old notes.
“After the expiration date, such naira notes changed will no longer be legal tender but it also says that even five months, three months, or two months after, even in June, all the old notes presented to the bank shall be redeemed by the bank,” he said.
Responding, Emefiele said he is in agreement with the parliament on section 20.
“Section 20 says even after the old currency has lost its legal tender status that we are mandated to collect that money.
"And I stand with the House of Reps on this,” he stated.
He explained further: “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 give you. You will not lose your money.
"This is the assurance I give to Nigerians,” he stated.
He explained that the redesign of the naira is in line with international best practices and the apex bank has to be in control of the currency in circulation.
According to him, in 2015, N1.4 trillion was in circulation, and by last year it had risen to N3.33 trillion.
Emefiele decried the trend of the new notes being sighted at parties and stated he was in meetings with commercial banks to mitigate it.
He, however, agreed that the policies would hurt some persons but claimed it was in the interest of the country especially in combating insecurity.
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