The presidential candidate of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called for an extension of the January 31 deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the swapping of the old naira notes with the redesigned new naira notes at the banks.
The former vice president appears to be lending his voice to the calls by different interest groups and the majority of Nigerians, who have been calling for the extension of the deadline due to the scarcity of the redesigned naira notes and the difficulty experienced in getting them.
Atiku’s view on the matter is contained in his message titled, ‘My position on the CBN January 31st deadline on the new naira notes,’ which can be seen on his official Twitter account.
Atiku, who applauded the monetary conversion policy as a worldwide practice, however, maintained that the deadline is unsuitable and as such should be slightly adjusted.
What Atiku Abubakar is saying
- Atiku in his message said, “The ongoing policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the naira notes has generated wide reactions across the country and beyond.
- “This exercise is a worldwide practice and therefore not anything new, especially as the January 31st deadline draws closer.
- “A great number of Nigerians out of good conscience have expressed apprehension about how the policy and the deadline will make life more difficult for Nigerians.
- ‘’The large number of the unbanked population who do their businesses, especially in the rural areas, will find it almost impossible to meet up with the deadline of January 31st to exchange their old bank notes for the redesigned currencies.
- “I’m aware of the challenges farmers and others like artisans in remote areas go through in moving cash to the commercial banks for conversion.
- ‘’On this note, I am compelled to align my position with the upsurge of demands for a slight extension of the monetary conversion policy. The January 31st deadline is certainly going to cause heavy discomfort for our people.
- ‘’And it will be magnanimous on the part of government and the regulatory agency to ease the burden on the people in the public interest while we can continue sensitizing the public on the impending imperative of mobile banking policy.
- “It is important for the CBN to consider an extension of the time that the public can convert their unbanked money into new notes thereby reducing the financial consequences on these vulnerable citizens, I believe that such a painful experience is not the intention behind the initiative.’’
For the record
- Recall that on October 26, 2022, the CBN announced plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes. Consequently, President Muhammadu Buhari on November 23, 2022, unveiled the redesigned naira notes at the State House in Abuja, with the apex bank fixing January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the validity of the old notes.
- However, there have been complaints from businesses and Nigerians over the availability of the redesigned naira notes with a call to the CBN to extend the deadline to avail more time for proper distribution.
- Various political actors from different sides of the divide have called for an extension of the deadline for the monetary conversion policy as members of their constituencies have expressed frustrations in their inability to have access to the newly redesigned naira notes.
- The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had a few days, to accuse saboteurs and fifth columnists of being behind the scarcity of the redesigned naira notes across the country, to jeopardize his chances of winning the February 2023 presidential election.
Leave a Reply