In quick riposte, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said that it had not authorised commercial banks to start accepting the old N500 and N1,000 notes.
It said that the only directive to the regulator from President Muhammadu Buhari was to reissue the old N200 note.
Director, Corporate Communications of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, made the disclosure in a statement made available to The Star on Friday, February 17, 2023.
There have been reports on Friday that the CBN has authorised the banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 notes.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to some fake and unauthorized messages quoting the CBN as having authorized the Deposit Money Banks to collect the old N500 and N1,000 Banknotes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to ONLY reissue and recirculate the old N200 banknotes and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10, 2023.
“Members of the public should therefore disregard any message and/or information not formally released by the Central Bank of Nigeria on this subject.”
In response to the alleged CBN’s directive, some of the banks, including First Bank and EcoBank, had told customers to bring their old notes for deposit on Saturday, February 18.
The banks stated that they would collect the old N500 and N1,000 notes at their branches.
They, however, stated that the amount to be collected from each customer won’t exceed N500,000, advising those exceeding the limit to take their old naira notes to the CBN office.
The banks urged the customers to generate code, print it out from the CBN portal before coming to the banks.
The FirstBank public notice reads: “Dear Valued Customer, this is to inform you that our branches shall receive old N500 and N1000 notes of up to a maximum of N500,000 after registration on the CBN portal.
“Please note that deposits of more than N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) should be taken to the nearest CBN location.
“In addition, our branches will be open tomorrow, Saturday 18 February 2023 to receive old notes.”
The Star recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, said the old N200 should be used with the new notes till April 10, 2023, while the old N500 and N1,000 notes ceased to be legal tender in the country.
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