By Asmau Ahmad
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday approved a 10-day extension of the deadline for the swapping of the old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1000 to new notes.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, who confirmed this to newsmen in Daura, Katsina State, revealed that the new deadline is now February 10.
Mr Emefiele, who was in Daura on Sunday morning, had a closed-door meeting with President Buhari, where he obtained the approval.
He said Nigerians, who were yet to change their naira notes from the old to new ones, “now have an opportunity to do so.”
The apex bank’s governor however cautioned that people must utilise the opportunity because the deadline would not be extended again.
The CBN had fixed January 31 as the deadline for the legitimacy of the old Naira notes.
The redesigned Naira notes, comprising N200, N500 and N1,000, became legal tender on December 15, 2022, after they were unveiled by Buhari on November 23, 2022, in Abuja.
Reports across the country on Saturday indicated that traders and business owners were asking their customers to pay with new notes.
It was also discovered that some of the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were still dispensing the old Naira notes, while there were long queues at few ATMs dispensing the redesigned Naira notes.
Some banks dispensing the new notes had configured their ATMs to dispense N5,000 or N10,000 per transaction.
Also, some Point of Sale (PoS) operators were still paying with old Naira notes, while some who had the redesigned Naira notes increased their charges by 100 to 200 per cent.