February 17, 2023

Updated: Old naira notes valid for next 100 years – El-Rufai

Updated: Old naira notes valid for next 100 years – El-Rufai

Gov Nasir el-Rufai

By Biodun Busari

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has assured residents of the state that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes and other notes are valid for the next 100 years.

El-Rufai made the statement in a state broadcast on Thursday to address the cash scarcity plaguing the country, as a result of the currency redesign policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The governor who has been a critic of the policy lately stormed the Supreme Court, Wednesday, in the company of his Kogi State counterpart Yahaya Bello to observe the proceedings of the suit hearing, which was adjourned until February 22.

El-Rufai said, “Let us stay calm and peaceful, and support the lawful means being utilised to solve our problems. On behalf of the Kaduna State Government, I wish to assure you that none of you would lose the money you have in old notes.

“Let no artificial and illegal deadline frighten you. Whether you live in towns, villages or in our isolated rural communities, do not feel stampeded to deposit your old notes in the banks. Hold on to them. Continue to use them as legal tender as ordered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“No deadline can render them worthless, ever. The law is on your side. The Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and the Bills of Exchange Act,  both oblige the CBN to recognise your old notes and give you value in new notes whenever you bring them to the CBN, even in the next 100 years.”

El-Rufai also promised that his administration will work with lawmakers, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state to alleviate the hardship brought by naira scarcity.

“Therefore, as your governor, I wish to assure you that the Kaduna State Government, in collaboration with elected legislators, traditional institutions, elected local government councils, markets, and traders associations will help you collect, record, document, collate and deliver all your old notes to the Kaduna branch of the Central Bank on your behalf into the new ones immediately after the elections.

“We will also ensure the delivery of your new notes to your various locations without any hardship or expense on your part. We shall save you any panic and the stress of a long journey from your community to the CBN office in our state capital, from March until December 2023 if need be,” he said.

He asserted that both old and new naira notes will co-exist as legal tender in the state, urging residents to use them without fear, that any individual or entity that rejects them shall be prosecuted.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all the old and new notes shall remain in use as legal tender in Kaduna State until the Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise. I, therefore, appeal to all residents of Kaduna State to continue to use the old and new notes side by side without any fear.

The Kaduna State Government and its agencies shall seal any facility that refuses to accept the old notes as legal tender and prosecute the owners. If need be, we shall take further consequential actions according to the law,” he added.