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CBN Debunks Claims Authorising Banks To Accept Old N500, N1000

By Adedayo Said

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday debunked claims that it ordered commercial banks to accept the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.

In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the bank, Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank described the claims as “fake and unauthorized”.

On Friday, reports claimed that the CBN had ordered banks to start collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes from the public. The reports claimed that the apex bank pegged the maximum amount the banks could collect from their customers at N500,000.

But in its reaction Friday, the bank urged Nigerians to disregard the claims as it never authorised the banks to take such decisions.

“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,” the statement said.

“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 recirculates 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.”

The bank urged “media practitioners” to verify any information “from the correct sources before publication.”


As tension continued to rise over the scarcity of the newly redesigned currency notes, motorists and major sales outlets across the country have refrained from the collection of the old notes.

A PREMIUM TIMES survey within the week showed that many Nigerians are still in possession of the old naira notes due to poor circulation of the newly designed currency, but are not able to carry out their daily transactions.

Despite a Supreme Court order restraining the CBN from phasing out the old notes, transport workers and some shopping outlets refused to accept the old notes.

Some business owners who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES lamented they do not know what to do with the old notes in their possession as banks battle with the scarcity of the new notes amid public outrage.

On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the continued use of the old N200 note as the CBN also launched a portal for bank customers to deposit their old naira notes amid a scarcity of new notes. However, the president announced that the CBN deadline for the phasing out of the old N500 and N1,000 remains.

Meanwhile, in notices sent to customers on social media, commercial banks encouraged customers to deposit their old notes in the bank after filling out the appropriate forms.

On Friday, thousands of protesters trooped out to block major roads in Lagos as the ripple effect of the cash crunch bites harder.

A PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter observed that on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, hundreds of commuters were stranded as protesters blocked the highway, burning tyres and threatening violence.

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