The National Assembly has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes from circulation.
In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, announced the naira redesign policy which entails the issuance of new naira notes to replace the existing N200, N500, and N1,000 series.
The CBN said the N100, N50, N20, N10, and N5 notes would continue to be in circulation while the current N200, N500, and N1,000 naira notes will cease to be legal tender in the country after January 31, 2023.
On Tuesday, January 24 the resolution was passed on the floor of the senate and house of representatives .
While moving the motion on the floor of the green chamber, Sada Soli,a Katsina lawmaker, said the old naira notes should be “phased out and not forced out”.“Banks and POS outlets are struggling with a shortage of the redesigned new naira notes ahead of the CBN deadline of January 31, 2023, consequently making it difficult for them to comply with the CBN directives as regards availability of the new notes for customers,” he said.
“despite several concerns and appeals by the national assembly, governors forum, the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, and other stakeholders for CBN to extend the period for the swap of the new naira notes, the apex bank has “remained adamant”. he added
Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, said “certain things should have been put in place” before the policy was reeled out.
He said that based on available reports, there is a need to review the policy — and that does mean a “failure” on the government’s part because even courts reviews its judgment.
After the adoption of the motion, the house set up an ad hoc committee chaired by Alhassan Doguwa to meet with managing directors of banks on Wednesday January 25, to ascertain if banks were hoarding the notes .