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Emefiele Speaks On Jan 31 Deadline For Return Of Old Naira Notes

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The of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday declared that the January 31, 2023 deadline fixed by the apex bank for the return of old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes would not be extended.

Emefiele Speaks On Jan 31 Deadline For Return Of Old Naira Notes

Emefiele Speaks On Jan 31 Deadline For Return Of Old Naira Notes

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Godwin Emefiele, yesterday declared that the January 31, 2023 deadline fixed by the apex bank for the return of old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes would not be extended.

Emefiele instead adviced people who could still be in possession of the old currency to surrender them, promising them that they wouldn’t face any harassment from the anti-corruption organizations.

The CBN ’s comment came just as the Senate and House of Representatives members urged the banking sector regulator to extend the deadline.

Both the red chamber and the green chamber requested for a six-month extension of the deadline. In addition, the House of Representatives set up an ad hoc committee to meet Managing Directors of banks and subsequently with the CBN over the public outcry on the cash withdrawal limit and scarcity of the redesigned naira. They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.

However, addressing journalists at the end of a two-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja, the first in the year, the CBN governor insisted that the 100 days allowed for anyone to deposit the notes in commercial banks was more than adequate.

Emefiele also disclosed that to date, between N1.3 trillion and N1.5 trillion of the old naira notes had so far been returned, adding that the figure was expected to reach about N2 trillion at the end of the week.

He added that the central bank is currently printing more banknotes which would be supplied to banks to boost availability as the old notes would expire at the end of the month.

Emefiele’s declaration puts paid to speculations that the central bank may bow to public pressure and move forward, the deadline it set for the return of the old naira notes, after which they would no longer remain a legal tender.

In addition, MPC members yesterday resolved to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) otherwise known as interest rate by 100 basis points to 17.5 per cent from 16.5 per cent.

The MPR is the rate at which commercial banks borrow from the CBN and often determines the cost of lending in the economy. The MPC however, retained the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) at 32.5 per cent as well as the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

Emefiele pointed out that the decision to further tighten monetary policy was borne out of the need to address current inflationary concerns adding that the marginal drop in the headline index in December was not enough to loosen the monetary stance for now.

Emefiele, also commented on the recent N89 trillion stamp duty allegations against the apex bank, clarifying that records have shown that only N370.68 billion had been collected by banks between 2016 till date, and wondered where such a humongous amount had been culled from.

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