• Ortom seeks old naira notes deadline extension
• Policy ill-timed, says Dickson
As citizens become increasingly outraged over the rejection of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes ahead of the January 31 deadline, more voices are speaking out against the currency redesign swap policy, calling for an extension. The House of Representatives yesterday issued a stern warning to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and his management team to rescind the January 31 deadline on cash withdrawal limits and cash swap policy.
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the policy, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, stated this while briefing members on the CBN management’s inability to attend the investigative hearing. He emphasized that the CBN Governor and other directors are employees of the Nigerian people and warned that the House will not tolerate any excuses for their absence at the rescheduled hearing, which is today (Thursday) at 1:00 p.m. Ado-Doguwa reiterated the need for a review of the policy, which he described as “unpopular” and argued that it has had a negative impact on businesses and the well-being of Nigerians across the country, causing difficulties in the payment for services, with the rejection of old naira notes.
On Monday, the leadership of the House announced that they would hold a meeting with the Bankers Committee and the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Speaking on the CBN executives’ failure to appear before the House, Ado-Doguwa explained that the CBN had cited the late arrival of the invitation letter as the reason for their absence. He emphasized that the House will not accept any further excuses, as it is crucial to address issues surrounding the cashless policy, which has had negative impacts on the nation’s economy and the lives of Nigerians.
The House of Representatives has rescheduled its meeting with the Managing Directors of commercial banks for Friday. Meanwhile, the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the validity of old naira notes. Ortom made this appeal during a visit from the governing council and management of Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University in Makurdi. The CBN has insisted that the deadline will not be extended.
Ortom stated that due to the limited circulation of new notes, it is difficult for many Nigerians, especially those in rural areas, to meet the deadline. He also noted that many rural dwellers do not have bank accounts. Ortom joined other Nigerians in calling for a critical examination of the policy and urged the CBN to extend the deadline for the exchange of old notes. Additionally, the former Governor of Bayelsa State and Senator representing Bayelsa West, Seriake Dickson, criticized the timing of the currency redesign, expressing concern that it would distract the nation from having successful elections.
Former Governor of Bayelsa State and Senator representing Bayelsa West, Seriake Dickson, has criticized the timing of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) currency redesign policy. Dickson stated that the CBN should have introduced the policy under a new administration, as it would have been better managed by a new government rather than one that is coming to an end. He made these comments at an interaction program by the Rotary Club of Abuja Maitama in Abuja on Wednesday. He said: “The timing of the policy to me is a problem no matter how well-intended. I feel this coming at the twilight of an administration of almost eight years is the wrong timing. I think a major fundamental policy such as this should have been left for the next administration to manage the consequences and fine-tune. Let’s hope the citizens are not confused and agitated. Let’s hope it does not distract us from focusing on having fair and peaceful conduct of the national election.”
Source: Guardian News