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Old and New Naira Notes: Legal Tender According to CBN

Old and New Naira Notes: Legal Tender According to CBN

Old and New Naira Notes

In a recent announcement, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has affirmed that both old and new Naira banknotes are still recognized as legal tender within the country. This declaration comes in response to concerns about a shortage of funds and reports of old Naira notes being rejected in certain regions of Nigeria. The CBN, via its official Twitter platform, made it abundantly clear that there is an ample supply of banknotes across the nation to support all regular economic transactions. In this article, we delve into the CBN’s statement, the legal implications of their declaration, and the importance of accepting Naira banknotes.

Legal Tender Status of Old and New Naira Notes

The Central Bank of Nigeria, as the sole issuer of the Naira currency, has the authority to define the legal status of the banknotes it circulates. In line with this, the CBN emphasized that every banknote issued by them, whether old or newly redesigned, remains legal tender. This means that businesses and individuals should not refuse to accept Naira banknotes for transactions, as mandated by Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007.

Assurance of Adequate Supply

To alleviate concerns regarding the availability of Naira banknotes, the CBN has directed its branches across the country to continue providing different denominations of both old and redesigned Naira banknotes to Deposit Money Banks. These banks, in turn, are responsible for ensuring that a sufficient quantity of Naira banknotes is in circulation for use by the general public. This directive ensures the smooth flow of currency in the country’s economy.

Legal Framework

The CBN’s assertion that all Naira banknotes remain legal tender is grounded in the legal framework established by Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007. This section clearly states that no one should reject Naira as a means of payment, reinforcing the CBN’s position. By adhering to this legal requirement, individuals and businesses contribute to the stability and functionality of the Nigerian economy.

Implications for Businesses and Individuals

Understanding the legal tender status of old and new Naira notes is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. It means that rejecting Naira banknotes, whether old or newly designed, is not only against the law but also detrimental to the overall economic well-being of the country. Here are some key implications:

1. Legal Consequences

Refusing Naira as a means of payment can have legal consequences for businesses. They may face penalties or fines for violating the CBN Act, 2007. Individuals who decline Naira banknotes may also find themselves in legal trouble.

2. Economic Stability

Accepting Naira banknotes promotes economic stability. It ensures that money continues to circulate within the economy, enabling trade, investment, and consumption. A healthy flow of currency is vital for the country’s financial health.

3. Financial Inclusion

Accepting all denominations of Naira banknotes, including the older ones, promotes financial inclusion. It allows individuals from all walks of life to participate in economic activities, regardless of the type of currency in their possession.

CBN’s Efforts to Maintain Currency Integrity

The CBN’s commitment to maintaining the integrity and legal status of the Naira is evident in its actions. By continually supplying both old and new Naira notes to financial institutions, it ensures that the Naira remains a viable medium of exchange for all Nigerians. This proactive approach demonstrates the CBN’s dedication to upholding the legal tender status of the Naira.


In summary, the Central Bank of Nigeria has reiterated that all Naira banknotes, whether old or newly designed, are legal tender as per the provisions of the CBN Act, 2007. It is essential for businesses and individuals to recognize the legal implications of rejecting Naira as a means of payment and to play their part in maintaining the stability of the Nigerian economy. By adhering to the CBN’s directive, we can collectively contribute to a financially inclusive and economically robust Nigeria.


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