Emefiele meets with banks’ heads, orders immediate circulation of N200 notes

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Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said he has met with 15 heads of commercial banks to ease the ongoing cash crunch in the country, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive in his national broadcast to the nation.

Emefiele spoke to state house correspondents shortly after attending a meeting between Buhari and the house of representatives ad hoc committee on new naira redesign and naira swap policy at the presidential villa, yesterday.

The CBN governor assured Nigerians that the old N200 notes will be made available immediately.

He, therefore, appealed to the citizens to allow the policy to work, saying it would go a long way in helping the nation’s economy.

Emefiele also assured that the CBN will continue to do everything possible to ease the sufferings currently being experienced by Nigerians due to the cash crunch.

Earlier today, Buhari announced the extension of the validity of old N200 notes till April 10.

The president, announcing the development in a televised nationwide address, said all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and designated points.

“To further ease the supply pressures, particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 when the old N200 notes ceases to be legal tender,” Buhari said.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the case brought against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and federal government on the naira redesign policy.

READ MORE: Cash Crunch: Again, Buhari Meets Emefiele at Aso Rock

With the adjournment, the court said the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender.

President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast had announced the extension of the validity of old N200 notes till April 10.

In a televised nationwide address, the president said all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points.

“To further ease the supply pressures, particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 when the old N200 notes ceases to be legal tender,” the president said.

The president said he listened to various stakeholders and consulted widely over the hardship suffered by Nigerians as a result of the weeks-long scarcity of naira notes.

He said their counsel informed his decision to make concessions on the matter.

“Considering the health of our economy and the legacy we must bequeath to the next administration and future generations of Nigerians, I admonish every citizen to strive harder to make their deposits by taking advantage of the platforms and windows being provided by the CBN,” he said.

“Let me assure Nigerians that our administration will continue to assess the implementation with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened. In this regard, the CBN shall ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to our citizens through the banks.

“I wish to once more appeal for your understanding till we overcome this difficult transient phase within the shortest possible time.”

The president described the naira redesign policy as a “positive departure from the past”, adding that it represents a “bold legacy step” of his administration towards laying a strong foundation for free and fair elections.

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