Nigeria's apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria has handed out some new instructions.
The CBN instructed commercial banks in the country to work on Saturdays till January 31, 2023, to enable customers return existing naira notes.
The CBN had announced plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes, and release the new notes by December 15, 2022.
Speaking at the CBN fair in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, on Thursday, the CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwasinobi, said that the new and existing notes shall remain legal tender until January 31, 2023, when the existing notes shall cease to be legal tender.
The CBN fair has as its theme, “Promoting financial stability and economic development.”
Represented by acting director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Akpama Uket, the director said that Deposit Money Banks have been directed to immediately start returning the existing currencies to the CBN.
“They have also been instructed to receive the existing banknotes beyond the threshold stipulated by the Cashless Policy without charges to customers.
“Consequently, you must return all the current N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes to your bank before the expiration of the deadline,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CBN warned Nigerians of the consequences of mishandling naira notes, saying, “Let me also reiterate the need to handle the naira with care. The naira remains a symbol of our national pride. Treat it with utmost dignity.
“Do not spray, squeeze or counterfeit the naira, as default goes with consequences.”