The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said there is no going back on the February 10, 2023 deadline for the swapping of the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes.
While there has been controversy over the deadline with some governors dragging the apex bank to the Supreme Court and the court restraining the bank from implementing the deadline, the CBN maintained that the date remains sacrosanct.
The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said this on Tuesday during a meeting with members of the diplomatic corps in Abuja.
He acknowledged the inconveniences caused by the naira redesign policy including hoarding and an elevated agitation but called on Nigerians, especially those in authority, not to exaggerate it so as not to create panic.
Acknowledging that the transition to embracing the new naira notes may be challenging, the CBN boss reiterated that the benefits are enormous and will lead to a cashless policy.
The CBN boss also vowed to prosecute point-of-sales (PoS) operators who collect exorbitant charges for transactions.
Emefiele reiterated the benefits of the naira redesign, arguing that it has helped in reducing inflation and is leading to a moderation in exchange rates.
He also told the members of the corps how the nation’s economy is faring but shared concerns about increasing inflation which he attributed to insecurity, elections spending, and the effect of the global market on the economy.
According to him, the nation’s growth rate is at 3.6 percent for 2023, noting that the economy will experience what he called subdued growth owing to the scarcity of petroleum products, increased spending which is being curtailed, and increasing debt levels.