Breaking: Like Senate, Reps seek deadline extension on old naira notes, summon banks

The House of Representatives has called for extension of the deadline fixed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for people to exchange old currency notes for the redesigned. The affected notes are N200, N500 and N1,000.

The House has also constituted an Ad hoc committee under the headship of its Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, to meet with management of the CBN and those of all money deposit banks in the country in order to address the issues.

The apex bank had issued January 31, 2023 deadline for the old affected currency notes to cease to be legal tender in the country.

But raising concern on the expected negative impact on the citizens, as the deadline draws closer, a member of the House, Sada Soli in a motion under matters of urgent public importance on Tuesday, demanded an extension of not less than one year for the process to be concluded.

He said it was time the House urgently intervene to avert a possible economic chaos, as Nigerians would be forced into stampede and desperate moves to beat the deadline’ citing the conflicting argument between the commercial banks and the CBN on availability of the redesigned notes as a good reason to intervene.

While agreeing that the move towards cashless economy was in tandem with global best practices, the lawmaker argued that “for such a policy to be successful, it should not be overbearing on the people and the economy”, adding that “the financial institutions in Nigeria lack the infrastructure to handle a sudden increase in customer base as well as adequate employees to handle any challenges that could arise in the process of implementing the cashless policy within the limited time given by the CBN”.

He also prayed that President Muhammadu Buhari should intervene in the insistence of the CBN on the tight deadline for the implementation of the sashless policy and currency swap.

In his intervention, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila posited that it was important for both management of the CBN, as well as Managing Directors of the money deposit banks to meet with the committee, where clarifications can be made on the current status of the redesigned naira notes.

The meeting has been fixed for Wednesday January 25, 2023.

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