The Senate has 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 Senate had in December 2022 directed the CBN to extend the deadline but the CBN refused to yield.
As the deadline draws near, there have been apprehensions accross the country as a huge number of Nigerians are unable to deposit all of their old currencies especially those in the rural areas with limited access to financial services.
Senators, during debate on a motion by 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 deposit money banks to open a naira exchange windows for those without bank accounts.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, assured that the National Assembly leadership would ensure that the resolution is implemented by the CBN.
In a seminar vein, the House of Representatives has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review it’s policies on the new redesigned currency, withdrawal limit at the January 31st deadline.
The call followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Sada Soli Jibia at the plenary on Tuesday.
Presenting the motion, the lawmaker said, the CBN should bring it’s policies more closer to realities than assumptions.
He said, “In global best practices,currencies are phased out, not forced out. Thus, adequate time is required for this policy to be successful.
“The policy, though a good one, it is not fair for the incoming government which require a smooth transition that will help to promote sound financial system in the country.
“Coercing the people to accept the CBN policy within a short time frame will cause monetary challenges and impact negatively on the micro-economic activities across the country”.
The House therefore urged the CBN to extend the implementation of the cashless policy to at least one year as well as review the daily withdrawal limit and charges therefrom.
It also urged the apex bank to make the new redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes available to Nigerians.
It called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on the insistance of the CBN on the right deadline for the implementation of the cashless policy and currency swap.