On Wednesday, Senator Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno) raised a point of order during the Senates’ plenary regarding the timeline given for by the CBN for withdrawalof old notes, after which they arrived at a resolution. The Senate urges the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the withdrawal deadline of old currency notes from circulation, from January 31, to June 30, 2023.
As at the 26th of October 2022, CBN made known its plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 naira notes. Senator Ndume raised Orders 41 and 51 of Senate Standing Rule, as he requested that the call for extension of the deadline be considered as a matter of urgent national importance to eliminate the high evident level of hardship citizens will experience.
Still speaking, he highlighted that Nigerian banks opened their vaults to customers and depositors on the 15th of December, to exchange their old currency for the newly redesigned currency. The queue at the banks are very long as people intend to meet the stipulated deadline of January 31st, 2023. The possibility of all citizens acquiring the new notes before the deadline is very low and it poses great difficulty on their path. If the deadline is not extended, Nigerians will be thrown into hardship and the 1984 experience in terms of the withdrawal of old notes, could be repeated.
Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi) added that rural dwellers were not aware of the currency redesign. There are scarcely any banks or PoS centres in the rural areas, and this means that those that dwell in these places, will have to make do with the one or two available in their local area or travel long distances to towns and cities. When they arrive these towns and cities, they will still have to compete with people that live around the areas. Considering these factors, it is very important for CBN to change the stipulated deadline.