CBN Enhances Cash Swap with Nationwide Deployment of 30,000 Agents, Deadline for Returning Old Banknotes Extended by Buhari to Feb 10th
Emefiele Explains Extension to Enable More Nigerians to Swap Banknotes, Minority Caucus Supports CBN, Adhoc Committee Chair Rejects Extension, Former Deputy Governor Calls for Protection of Naira Redesign.
Emefiele stated in a statement, following a meeting with the president, that the extension of the deadline was to allow for more collection of legitimately held old notes by Nigerians, particularly in rural areas, in order to increase success in cash swaps. The CBN has so far collected N1.9 trillion, a 75% success rate compared to the N2.7 trillion outside deposit money banks. N900 billion is still expected to be deposited. He noted that rural residents, the elderly, and the vulnerable can swap their old notes through the Agent Naira initiative and CBN senior staff sensitization efforts.
Emefiele appealed to Nigerians to cooperate with the CBN in implementing the naira redesign project, noting that CBN staff, along with EFCC and ICPC officials, are currently mobilized and monitoring to achieve its objectives. He emphasized that the goal is to give those who hold legitimately earned but trapped naira the chance to deposit and exchange it. Emefiele stated that the CBN’s inability to conduct this aspect of its mandate in 19 years, when it should have happened within 5 to 8 years, motivated the currency redesign. The aim is to improve monetary policy efficacy and to support security efforts in combating banditry and ransom. The governor thanked Buhari for granting approval for the CBN to finally undertake this long-overdue project.
Emefiele emphasized that only a leader with the integrity of President Buhari could grant approval for the CBN’s currency redesign project. He reiterated the goals of the project, to make monetary policies more effective and support security efforts in combatting banditry and ransom, pointing out that inflation is trending downwards and exchange rates are stable. He also noted the military’s progress in this regard.
Emefiele stated that the CBN’s goal is to control the volume of currency in circulation and make monetary policy decisions more effective, which is why old notes must be returned to the bank. He said the CBN held meetings with deposit banks and provided guidance on the collection and distribution of new notes. Emefiele noted that the CBN also worked with the media and the National Orientation Agency for citizen sensitization. CBN staff members were sent nationwide for mass mobilization and monitoring to ensure compliance. Any breaches were reported to the EFCC and ICPC. Emefiele appealed to Nigerians to help ensure a smooth implementation of the currency redesign program. He dismissed the excuse of security threats made by the Kano State Governor, saying it has no relationship with the cash swap policy. Emefiele warned that even CBN staff who breach the program will be sanctioned.
House Minority Caucus Hails Deadline Extension, Doguwa Reiterates Threat to Arrest CBN Governor
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives praised the CBN for extending the deadline for exchanging old naira notes for new ones by 10 days. In a statement, the caucus’s leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said the extension would ease the burden faced by many Nigerians. He also commended the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for intervening and pushing for the extension in the national interest. The caucus encouraged Nigerians to take advantage of the extension and urged the CBN to intensify its sensitization efforts. However, the Chairman of the House Adhoc Committee on Naira Re-design and Naira Swap Policy, Doguwa, rejected the extension, saying the CBN must comply with sections of the CBN Act and that the extension was a political tactic to deceive Nigerians. He threatened to arrest the CBN governor if he did not appear before the committee.
Doguwa rejected the 10-day extension for the old naira notes swap, stating that the legislative committee will only accept compliance with Section 20, sub-sections 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act. He emphasized that Nigeria must respect the rule of law in a developing economy and nascent democracy. Doguwa also threatened to issue an arrest warrant for the CBN governor if he fails to appear before the Adhoc committee. He highlighted that security agencies are funded through cash advances and direct table payments during elections and the policy could disrupt the upcoming general election.
Don’t Succumb to Political Pressure, Blackmail, Former Lagos Deputy Governor Tells Buhari
Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, has called for support for President Buhari in the currency redesign project. In an interview with THISDAY, she said the move is in the best interest of the people and exposes corruption in the country. Ojikutu urged Nigerians not to be swayed by unscrupulous politicians and to avoid protests, adding that the currency change will help fight corruption and clean the endemic corruption in the country. Despite starting the fight against corruption late, Ojikutu believes Buhari’s latest move will help end corruption in Nigeria.
APC PCC Commends CBN over Deadline Extension
The APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has praised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for extending the deadline for exchanging old Naira notes. Bayo Onanuga, Director of Media and Publicity for the PCC, stated in a recent release that the extension will give people, particularly those in rural areas, more time to change their old notes and avoid potential panic. The PCC also lauded Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, for addressing the concerns of Nigerians during his campaign rally. The party praised Tinubu for showing leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians. Onanuga commended the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for listening to the concerns of Nigerians and extending the deadline, as well as President Buhari for his leadership and statesmanship.
Source: ThisDay Live