New naira: Reps oppose CBN extension as rage over scarcity grows
The Central Bank of Nigeria declared on Sunday that it would phase out obsolete currency notes by February 10; however, the House of Representatives has rejected this date.
The New Naira Redesign and Naira Swap Policy Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives referred to the new date as only a political ploy to further mislead Nigerians and harm their economic and social well-being on Sunday.
The development happened as resentment about the shortage of replacement notes spread throughout the nation and some bank customers were left stranded. While there are lengthy lines at ATM galleries all throughout the country, retailers and traders have been refusing the old notes.
However, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) authorized the deadline to be extended to February 10 during their latest meeting, according to CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, who announced the revised deadline for the phase-out of the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes on Sunday.
Additionally, he provided an additional seven days for Nigerians to deposit their old naira notes before they lose their legal tender status on February 10.
According to The PUNCH, the CBN had previously set a deadline of January 31 for the exchange of old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes.
Before extending the deadline, the apex bank had refused to shift grounds despite coming under severe criticisms and significant pressure from the National Assembly, politicians, banks, customers, and key stakeholders.
The CBN governor had also missed four appearances before the House, which caused the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to proclaim on Tuesday that he was prepared to issue an arrest warrant against him if he missed last Thursday’s committee meeting.
The lawmakers would reassemble on Tuesday (tomorrow), according to Gbajabiamila, to take action against Emefiele and other bank executives who disregarded the house’s summons.