Buhari Grants Old N200 Notes Legal Tender Rights
Amidst the ongoing crisis across the cities over the scarcity of new naira notes in circulation, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday gave approval to the central bank to extend the deadline to turn in old banknotes by another 60 days.
The new extension granted is the second after the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the implementation of the new redesign currency with January 31 as the deadline.
Across the banking halls, Nigeria’s new notes have been in short supply, leading to long queues while point-of-sales operators were seen making brisk incomes by charging as much as 10% per withdrawal.
Buhari said in a television broadcast that old 200 notes would continue to circulate in the economy alongside new 1,000, 500 and 200 notes until April 10.
But the old 1,000 and 500 notes could only be swapped at the central bank and “designated points”, he said.
Buhari defended the initiative saying it would lead to greater transparency in financial transactions, curb money laundering and reduce the money supply in the economy.
“Notwithstanding the initial setbacks experienced, the evaluation and feedback mechanism set up has revealed that gains have emerged from the policy initiative,” said Buhari.
Some politicians have criticised the timing ahead of Feb. 25 elections, as campaigns are funded by mostly hard-to-trace cash. Local media reported on Thursday that some angry citizens had vandalized cash dispensing machines at some banks in southern Nigeria as they protested the cash shortages. # Buhari Grans Old N200 Notes Legal Tender Rights