The Nigerian senate has, again, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately extend the deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes from circulation to July 31, 2023.
The apex bank had, on December 15, commenced circulating newly redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes and set January 31st, 2023 as the deadline for the withdrawal of old notes.
Recall that the senate had in December 2022 directed the CBN to extend the deadline but the resolution was shunned by the apex bank.
This has caused panic in many parts of the country as the deadline draws nearer, with thousands, especially those in rural areas storming banks to exchange the old notes for new ones.
Senators, during debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara) at Tuesday’s plenary, said the new notes were not enough in circulation, warning that if the deadline was not extended, there would be chaos in many parts of the country.
The lawmakers also expressed dismay that the CBN had insisted on the January 31 deadline despite huge public outcries.
The Senate, therefore, asked the CBN to extend the deadline by six months to allow Nigerians especially those in rural areas more time to change their old notes.
The Red Chamber also urged the CBN to compel commercial banks to open naira exchange windows for those without bank accounts to exchange their old naira notes.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan assured that the National Assembly leadership would ensure that the resolution is implemented by the CBN.
Meanwhile, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday said no going back on the January 31 deadline for old naira notes.
According to him, kidnapping and ransom-taking have reduced since the three banknotes were redesigned.
He also said the time given for the swap of the old naira notes with new ones were enough for Nigerians to go to commercial banks and get new notes.