Dispelling concerns over the legality of old banknotes as December 2023 approaches, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has affirmed that all naira notes, including the older ones, remain legal tender.
Contrary to fears that old banknotes might lose their legal tender status by the end of December 2023, the CBN said it has not issued any directive for the withdrawal of the old notes and warned against their rejection.
Earlier in the year, during the cash crisis prompted by the CBN’s redesign of higher denomination notes (200, 500, and 1,000), the Supreme Court ruled that old notes would remain valid until December 31, 2023.
Addressing the concerns surrounding the legality of the old notes, the CBN, in a statement on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, clarified that no one should reject any banknotes.
Signed by its Director of Corporate Communication, Isah Abdulmunin, the statement affirmed that all CBN branches nationwide have been instructed to continue issuing both the old and redesigned notes.
The statement read, “There have also been reports of anxiety among some members of the public over the legality or otherwise of old Naira banknotes. For the avoidance of doubt, while reiterating that there are sufficient banknotes across the country for all normal economic activity, we wish to state unambiguously that every banknote issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) remains legal tender and should not be rejected by anyone, as stipulated in Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007.”
It further emphasised that all denominations of banknotes issued by the CBN, both old and redesigned, are legal tender, and branches of the CBN nationwide have been directed to continue issuing them in adequate quantities to Deposit Money Banks for circulation to customers.