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National Assembly Calls On CBN To Extend Old Naira Deadline

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National Assembly Calls On CBN To Extend Old Naira Deadline

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been urged by the National Assembly to extend the deadline for eliminating old naira notes from circulation.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the naira redesign policy in October 2022. This policy calls for the issuance of new naira notes in place of the current N200, N500, and N1,000 series.

The current N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will no longer be accepted as legal tender in the nation after January 31, 2023, according to the CBN. However, the N100, N50, N20, N10, and N5 notes will remain in circulation.

The resolution was approved on the Senate and House of Representative’s floors on Tuesday, January 24.

The old naira notes should be “phased out and not forced out,” Katsina legislator Sada Soli argued when moving the motion on the green chamber’s floor.

He said, “Banks and POS outlets are struggling with a shortage of the redesigned new naira notes ahead of the CBN deadline of January 31, 2023, consequently making it difficult for them to comply with the CBN directives as regards availability of the new notes for customers,” he said.

“Despite several concerns and appeals by the national assembly, governors forum, the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, and other stakeholders for CBN to extend the period for the swap of the new naira notes, the apex bank has ‘remained adamant’.”

The house speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that “certain things should have been put in place” before the policy was announced.

According to him, there is a need to evaluate the policy in light of the reports that are now available, and not doing so does constitute a “failure” on the part of the government given that even courts are subject to judgment reviews.

The house established an ad hoc committee after the motion was passed, led by Alhassan Doguwa, to meet with bank managing directors on January 25 to determine whether banks were hoarding the notes.

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