The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline on the ban of the old naira notes due to the scarcity of the new ones.
The IMF made this known in a statement signed by it’s Resident Representative for Nigeria, Laraba S. Bonet on Wednesday.
The CBN had, in December 2022, unveiled new N1,000, N500, and N200 notes with a view to withdrawing the old notes by January 31, 2023. That date was eventually shifted by 10 days, to February 10, giving a seven-day grace period.
This was most likely due to the scarcity of the new bank notes and the difficulty this presented for everyday Nigerian.
Bonet, in the statement, said that the IMF encourages an extension in the deadline due to the hardships which the scarcity of the new notes has presented.
“In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline,” she said.
THE WHISTLER reported that the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Monday temporarily halted the February 10th deadline given by the CBN after Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara States asked the court to restrain the bank from implementing the deadline.
The states argued that the deadline given by the CBN that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes would cease to be legal tender is against the well-being of ordinary Nigerians.