President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria granted the go-ahead for the central bank to add another 60 days to the deadline for turning in outdated banknotes after cash shortages fueled unrest ahead of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for next week.
The deadline to turn in old notes has already been extended once to February 10, after which they would no longer have been legal tender. However, the scarcity of new notes has caused long lines and tumultuous situations at banks all around the nation.
Buhari announced in a television address that old 200 notes would continue to circulate in the economy alongside new 1,000, 500, and 200 notes until April 10. However, the central bank was the only place where the outdated 1,000 and 500-dollar bills could be exchanged. Some politicians have criticized the timing ahead of Feb. 25 elections, as campaigns are funded by mostly hard-to-trace cash.