The Senate has requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, extend the deadline for exchanging obsolete Naira notes from January 31 to May 31, 2023.
The Senate has also urged the CBN to establish an exchange window where those without bank accounts can deposit their old bills.
Sen. Sadiq Umar of the APC from Kwara North originally moved for an extension until July 31 because he was concerned about the apex bank’s assertion that there wouldn’t be one, which led to the Senate’s resolution.
The Senator who lamented that there were not enough new naira notes in circulation and as such, moved that the date should be extended to July 31, said: “Experiences around the world have shown that such abrupt decisions if not controlled usually created chaos.
“The Senate should extend the use of the old notes to July 31.”
Supporting the motion, Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, APC-Jigawa North East who noted that the call for extension was for their constituents and not for their (lawmakers’) personal benefits, said, ” In my constituency, no Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is dispensing the new notes.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan who noted that most of the senatorial districts did not have banks, said: “In rural Nigeria, there are no banks and people transact businesses with cash more often.
“There is no doubt that we must have a window for exchange. We must have policies by the CBN to have bank branches established in rural areas.
“We need this extension for the most ordinary Nigerians.”
The legislators then voted in favour of extending the deadline from January 31 to July 31 after Lawan added the petitions to the motion to vote.