The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) joined the Nigerian Senate urging the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the upcoming January 31st deadline for the phasing out of old naira notes in the country, stating that the new notes are not in circulation.
This was disclosed in a press briefing by Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President on Thursday in Abuja.
The CBN insists that there is no scarcity of new naira notes in Nigeria as there is enough supply of the new notes to commercial bank ATMs,
Dispensing old notes: The NLC President noted that the union has reached out to the CBN Governor and the Presidency, citing that banks are still giving out old notes.
“We have tried to respond officially by writing to the CBN governor. We also wrote to the President to say that this new policy of changing our Naira needs to be revisited.
“It is obvious that even in the city centres, banks are still dispensing old notes and this is correct. I remember, I went to about 10 banks and none was actually dispensing the new notes.
“In fact, most of the banks now, if you are lucky, will dispense only a few notes and you can check that around.
Poor circulation: He added that Nigerians in rural areas are scrambling to change their money as the poor circulation of new notes affects them.
“So the new notes are not available and they are not in circulation and the old notes are being rejected.
“Even in city centres, where we have banks, the banks are not dispensing.
“If you go to the rural areas and see the chaotic nature of how people have come with their money to change, it has become a problem.”
The NLC president noted that the new notes are not easily available, as there is only little in circulation, adding that the rural areas are worse as most of the rural areas don’t have banks.
Wabba also revealed that in the state he comes from, there are only three banks in three local governments out of 27 local governments and that the other local governments, 24 of them, do not have banks and some of them are not accessible.
Suffering masses: The NLC warned that the working class will feel the worst of the policy and called for an extension of the deadline.
”It is the poor masses and even the working class that will feel the pinch of this policy. Because how will you not withdraw the old currencies when the new one is not even available?
”The policy, certainly, will also impact negatively on our economy, because the notes are not available and people are now rejecting the old notes.
”The policy certainly is not a policy that is making people believe that the policy is meant to address the fundamental issues.
”We align ourselves fully with the position of the Senate, we call for this policy to be reviewed and to give extension so that all the old notes can then be mopped up by the bank.”
In case you missed it
The Central Bank of Nigeria insists that there is no scarcity of new naira notes according to some media reports.
The CBN said there is enough supply of the new notes to commercial bank ATMs, and urged banks to desist from keeping cash away.
”The CBN has massively supplied the new notes to commercial banks to dispense both at counters and ATMs.
”This is to enable quick circulation and we want to advise commercial banks to desist from keeping the cash away from the public or face the stiffer sanction.”
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