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Fidelity Bank has requested that its customers deposit old banknotes at any of its branches by January 31, 2023, less than 24 hours after Zainab Ahmad, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, disowned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for making the announcement of new naira banknotes. 

The bank said it would extend its operating hours until 6 pm in all locations to allow cash deposits on Saturday, posting the news to its Instagram page.

“The new banknotes can be accessed in any Fidelity Bank branch nationwide,” said the bank. “The new banknotes will remain legal tender and circulate together with the old banknotes until January 31, 2023, when the latter shall cease to be legal tender.”

The CBN will redesign its 200–1000 naira notes, Emefiele had stated on Wednesday, and the new notes would start to circulate on December 15th, 2022. 

The existing naira notes would stop being accepted as legal cash on January 31, 2022, according to him, and this move was made to stop the widespread use of them outside bank vaults. 

The finance minister responded, “We were not consulted; it was an announcement that we heard,” to a question regarding the currency redesign at the 2023 budget defense session with the Senate Committee on Finance. She foresaw catastrophic outcomes as a result of the redesign of the naira notes. 

The CBN, however, maintains that it followed the law and got the president’s assent before redesigning the naira.


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