‘Why Buhari approved old naira deadline extension’ — Emefiele

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Daura, Katsina State, approved the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s request to extend the deadline for swapping old naira notes with the redesigned notes from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023.

Buhari also approved a seven-day grace period, which runs from February 10 to February 17, to allow Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after which the old notes cease to be legal tender.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed these to State House correspondents shortly after he met the President in his country home in Daura.

He disclosed that 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system had been recovered.

The governor said, “Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the ‘Agent Naira Swap’ initiative as well as the CBN senior staff nationwide sensitisation team exercise.

“Aside from those holding illicit/stolen naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.

“Our CBN staff, currently on mass mobilisation and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC, will work together to achieve these objectives. We, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank to ensure a hitch-free implementation of this very important process for the programme”.

Emefiele also vowed that Nigerians found selling, abusing, or spraying the new naira notes at public functions will be “sanctioned” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

He said with each note having a unique number, abused currencies can now be tracked to their users.

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