The Senate and the House of Representatives, the two branches of the National Assembly, requested the Central Bank of Nigeria, or CBN, yesterday to extend the deadline for the use of old naira notes past the goal date of January 31 set by the central bank.
The lower chamber said the deadline should be extended to June, despite the Senate’s request to extend it until July 31.
However, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, declared yesterday that the deadline of January 31 remained sacred.
The Senate requested the CBN to provide an exchange window where those without bank accounts could deposit their old notes during plenary yesterday.
The Senate’s resolution followed a motion by Senator Sadiq Umar, APC, of Kwara North, who asked for an extension till July 31 and expressed concern about the apex bank’s assertion that there would be no extension.
Remember that the CBN had stated in October of last year that the old Naira notes will cease to be legal cash as of January 31. However, the Senate passed a resolution in December requesting that the top bank extend the date to June 30.
Umar made the motion, recalling that the Senate had requested in its resolution from December 28, 2022, that the CBN extend the use of the old notes from January 31 to June 30, but that the apex bank had insisted on doing so by the end of January.
Umar attempted to extend the deadline till July 31 after complaining that there weren’t enough fresh naira notes in use.
“Experiences all around the world have demonstrated that such rash actions, if not regulated, typically generated pandemonium,” he warned. The Senate ought to allow the old notes to be used until July 31.
The majority of senators unanimously supported the extension in their remarks, noting a lack of the new notes in banks and at different Automated Teller Machine locations across the nation.