By Ayodele Oni
The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) and the Senate are set for another round of war over the deadline for for the phasing out of naira notes whose course were recently changed by the apex bank.
While the Senate is saying the January 31 deadline should be extended, to July, the CBN is insisting that there is no going back on the date.
CBN said that there is no going back on the January 31 deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes, as they will cease to be legal tender in the country.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele reiterated the CBN’s stance after the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Emefiele also insisted that enough time had been given to Nigerians to swap their old naira notes for new ones.
This is as he also said that kidnapping and ransom-taking had reduced since the three banknotes were redesigned.
But, the Nigerian Senate urged the CBN to extend the deadline for the implementation of the New Naira note Policy by six months.
The upper legislative Chamber’s stand followed a point of order moved by Kwara State lawmaker, Senator Sadiq Umar.
The Senate pointed out that the deadline for the implementation of the CBN Policy is too short and would only inflict untold hardship on Nigerians following the public outcry.
The Senate stated that it is still within its purview to ensure that the rights and interest of the people are protected at all cost, and it will stand against any decision that suppresses the voice of the people in a democracy.
It has now directed the CBN to extend the deadline of its new Policy to the 31st of July 2023.
It also urged Banks to permit those Nigerians that are not using banks to exchange the Old Naira Notes for new ones.