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Kidnapping, Other Vices to Reduce With New Naira Notes, CBN Claims

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Following complaints from Nigerians over the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes in lieu of the redesigning of N1000, N500 and N200 denominations that are scantly in circulation, the National Assembly has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to shift the deadline to July 31.

Bank customers across the country have been lamenting the unavailability of the new notes and the brevity of time for them to return the old notes to their banks.

In a bid to give citizens more time to return the old notes with them to banks and for more circulation of the new naira currency, the nation’s legislature directed the apex bank to move the deadline by six months.

Making the appeal on Tuesday during plenary, the Senate re-echoed its December appeal to CBN for the extension of the deadline, saying the scarcity of the new notes made the deadline extension inevitable.

One of the lawmakers, Senator Sadiq Umar, representing Kwara North Senatorial District under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), moved a motion on the floor of the Red Chamber and demanded an extension to July 31.

Umar’s motion was corroborated by most of his colleagues.

This development, however, forced the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to put the prayers in motion to vote and the lawmakers voted in support of the extension of the deadline from January 31 to July 31.

It could be recalled that the upper chamber had in December asked the apex bank to shift the deadline to June 30.

Similarly, the House of Representatives, also on Tuesday, while lamenting the scarcity of the new notes, sought the extension of the deadline by six months.

The lower chamber has invited the nation’s commercial banks to explain the reason behind the difficulty in making the redesigned notes available to members of the public.

According to the house, the Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the banks, under the umbrella of the Bankers’ Committee, are to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Wednesday, January 25.

But, the CBN is adamant and maintained that January 31 deadline is sacrosanct.

The governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele made this known after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said enough time had been given to Nigerians to change their old naira notes for new ones, saying that spate of kidnapping and ransom-taking had decreased since the three banknotes were redesigned.

Meanwhile, a check by Investors King at some banks on Tuesday revealed that while some had loaded their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the new notes, many others are yet to comply with the directive given by CBN.

At a branch of the Access Bank located at Post office area of Osogbo, Osun State, customers thronged the machines to withdraw cash.

Some of the customers who withdrew from the ATMs got new notes while others got N100 notes.

However, customers who were inside the banking hall were rushing to beat time and deposit their old notes before the deadline.

An old man who visited the bank’s counter begged the cashier for new notes but he was directed to the ATM outside the banking hall for new notes.



Read More: Kidnapping, Other Vices to Reduce With New Naira Notes, CBN Claims

2023-01-25 13:34:47

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