The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) on Sunday in Lagos endorsed the extension of the validity of old naira notes from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

ASSBIFI president, Mr Olusoji Oluwole, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN’s decision to extend the deadline was a step in the right direction.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday said the CBN had granted a 10-day extension of the deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, to ease the process of the exchange of old currency notes for new ones.

“It is a step in the right direction, especially in providing more time for the return of old notes after the actual date of invalidation.

“The CBN, however needs to proactively monitor and address the availability and distribution of the new notes.

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“It should also increase sensitisation of, and probably incentivising the general public on the cashless policy to reduce the pressure on cash,’’ Oluwole said.

Commercial banks across the country had in the past days, been struggling to adequately service milling customers rushing to beat the previous January 31 deadline for the exchange of old currency notes to new ones.

New N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations of currency notes became legal tender on Dec. 15, 2022 after they were unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Nov. 23, 2022.

Many bank customers however complained that the new notes were not readily available and were yet to circulate adequately, four days to the expiration of the old notes.