As the naira scarcity persist, President Muhammed Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the use of old N200 notes till April 10, 2023.
The President gave the directive during a national broadcast on Thursday February 16, 2023, as monitored by Nairametrics.
Unscrupulous bank officials blamed: During the broadcast, he stated that the naira scarcity being suffered by Nigerians is the fault of ‘unscrupulous officials’ in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementing the new monetary policy.
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President Buhari said he is deeply pained by the unintended outcomes of activities caused by banking staff. He said:
“I am not unaware of the obstacles placed on the path of Nigerians by unscrupulous officials in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementation of the new monetary policy. I am deeply pained & sincerely sympathise with you all, over these unintended outcomes.
“To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources & legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through the availability of appropriate amount of currency; & ability to make deposits.
“I have similarly directed that the CBN should intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.”
He also urged Nigerians to be patient and understanding during the difficult transition phase of the monetary policy.
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More on the extension: He directed the CBN to ensure that old N200 notes are released back into the economy and allowed to circulate as legal tender along the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes until the new deadline elapses.
He said that this was in accordance with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007.
Buhari added that all existing old N1000 and N500 notes would remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points.
The president further explained that his administration would continue to assess the implementation to ensure that Nigerians were not unnecessarily burdened. In this regard, the CBN would ensure that the new notes became more available and accessible to citizens through the banks.