CBN declares that old 200, 500, 1000 Naira notes remain legal tender

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Breaking: Supreme Court rules that old 500, 1000 Naira notes remain legal tender till Dec 31

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

Isa Abdulmumin, the CBN spokesperson, announced the development via a statement on Monday.

“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023,” the statement reads.

“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.

CBN’s full statement on old notes

The official statement from Nigeria’s apex bank explained that the bank would adhere to the ruling of the supreme court

“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.”

The CBN then had a meeting with Deposit Money banks to ensure that the financial institutions would start to dispense and receive the old notes.

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“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.”


“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”

How we got here

In a ruling last week, the Supreme court of Nigeria ordered that the old 200, 500, and 1000 Naira notes remain in circulation in the economy till December 31, 2023, contrary to the proposed Naira redesign policy of the CBN.

Following complaints from numerous Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10. However, the Supreme Court ruled following a suit filed by the states that the Federal Government, the CBN, and commercial banks could not proceed with the February 10 deadline pending the outcome of a suit about the issue.

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But, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the apex bank to put the old N200 notes into circulation to coexist alongside the new N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days – by April 10, 2023 — in a national broadcaast. Also, he stated that the old N500 and N1,000 bills are no longer valid in Nigeria.

The Supreme court, through Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgment last week, nullified the CBN’s Naira redesign policy as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.


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