Few hours after the supreme court temporarily restrained the federal government from banning the use of the old naira notes from February 10, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the February 10 deadline for the use of old naira notes if the difficulties in getting new notes persist.
Ari Aisen, IMF’s resident representative for Nigeria, gave the advice in a statement on Wednesday.
The deadline for the validity of old naira notes was initially January 31, but it was later extended by 10 days, with February 10 as the new date.
Despite the extension, the new notes are scarce and Nigerians are also finding it hard to get the old ones.
These challenges have led to protests and demonstrations in some parts of the country.
“In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline,” the statement reads.