Old naira notes no longer legal tender, CBN warns Nigerians, banks


Old Naira Notes to No Longer be Legal Tender

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned all Nigerians and Nigerian banks that the old Naira notes are no longer legal tender in the country. This is due to the new currency, which was released into circulation in June 2005 and hard to find, but is gradually replacing the old notes.

Which Notes are Included in the No Longer Legal Tender Warning?

The following are the notes included in the CBN's warning:

  • Old Naira notes, including the 50 and 20 denominations
  • The Naira notes of August 2005, including the N500, N200, N100 and N50 denominations.
  • Any employee of the banking sector who refuses to accept the new notes shall be liable to disciplinary action or prosecution in line with extant laws.

Consequences for Banks and Customers

The effects of this measure taken by the CBN on Nigerians and Nigerian banks are far reaching.

  • Banks must now accept withdrawals in new Naira notes only.
  • Banks are warned not to desist from executing unusual cash deposit transactions based on notes being old.
  • Customers must switch over to the new currency lest their old Naira notes are declared worthless.
  • Anyone attempting to transact with old notes shall be liable to legal action.


The Central Bank of Nigeria has taken serious note of this matter and is monitoring the situation. It is hoped that the new currency will be widely adopted by Nigerians and the banking sector in a speedy manner.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a statement alerting Nigerians to the fact that old naira notes are no longer legal tender as they are no longer accepted by banks.


This decision comes in light of the introduction of new currencies, released on the 10th of December 2020, which have eliminated the use of the old naira notes. The new notes issued by CBN are made up of N5, N10, N20, N50, N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations.

The Bank warned that the old naira notes would remain in circulation until the 30th of April 2021 and would be withdrawn from circulation and exchanged for the new notes. CBN also stated that the old notes should be deposited in any bank or CBN branch before the 30th of April and banks will accept the old notes only until that date.

The Bank has also warned that all Nigerians should only use the new notes in their transactions as the old notes would no longer be accepted.

The Bank assured the public that they take the safety of their customers and all their transactions seriously and that, as such, they have introduced the new notes to ensure the security of transactions and reduce the risk of counterfeiting.

The new notes have improved security features, a different design and are printed with enhanced counterfeit protection. The new notes have also been printed with a special ink that changes colour when viewed from different angles, creating an extra layer of security and making it difficult for counterfeit notes to enter circulation.

CBN has also urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and refuse to accept old naira notes from anyone. It emphasised that all transactions must be conducted with the new notes before the 30th of April 2021, at which point the old notes will no longer be accepted.