Naira swap: What will happen to your old Naira after the February 10 deadline?
The Naira redesign policy phasing out the old 1000 naira, 500 naira, and 200 naira notes by Nigeria’s Central Bank continues to generate uproar across the country because citizens are finding it harder and harder to access the new notes.
Speaking when he appeared before the Ado Doguwa-led House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the naira redesign and naira swap policy, the Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, put to rest the concerns of many who feared that the old naira notes would no longer be legal tender after the expiration of the February 10 deadline for the naira swap policy.
Section 20(3) of the CBN Act states: “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.”
So what will happen to your old notes after February 10?
1. If you have old notes that you have not been able to deposit at your bank, the CBN will give you the opportunity to redeem your money in the new notes.
2. Before the deadline, you can either pay it to your bank account or do an exchange at any authorized agent’s location. Your money will not be lost.
3. After the deadline, you will be able to redeem the face value of the naira only at the CBN and not at commercial banks.
4. However, the acceptance will be subject to meeting certain conditions. The CBN has not disclosed the conditions.
Where can I find CBN offices in Nigeria?
CBN offices can be found in the capitals of each of Nigeria’s 36 states. Do note that the CBN does not have branches outside the country or at any other location besides those officially listed on the apex bank’s website. If you receive any form of correspondence naming a CBN branch that is not on this list please do not fall for scammers.
The duration for the acceptance of the old notes by the CBN after the expiration of the deadline is yet to be disclosed.
The federal government is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC), the Nigerian Intelligence and Finance Unit (NFIU), and other security agencies to ensure the smooth implementation of the naira swap policy after the recent arrest by DSS operatives of a syndicate indulging in the breach of the naira swap policy.
According to the apex bank, there are 1.5 million super agents and 30,000 agents that have been activated to make the swap of a maximum of 10,000 Naira possible to ensure coverage for over 80 percent of Nigerians.
The current development has come with a lot of reaction from citizens because the new naira notes are scarce. Several bank customers don’t have access to the notes as most Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are either not functioning or banks are not giving out the new notes to customers.
Some retailers and traders have also been reported to be rejecting the old notes ahead of the deadline, while some local banking agents have hiked their processing fees for transactions.