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Extend Deadline On Old Naira Notes To June 30, Senate Tells CBN


Extend Deadline On Old Naira Notes To June 30, Senate Tells CBN

The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend its deadline for the phasing out of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes from January 31st to June 30th, 2023.

The recommendation follows a motion titled, “Urgent need to extend the withdrawal of old currency from circulation” raised by the Senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume.

Ndume said the notice given by the CBN is too short and the timing of the policy was wrong, stressing that Nigerians will not be able to lodge the old notes in time to meet the deadline due to few banks in the rural areas.

The Borno lawmaker said the access to the new notes may be compounded by the apex bank policy of cash withdrawal limits on individuals and corporate organizations.

He said, “Many Nigerian banks on Thursday 15th December 2022, opened their vault to customers and depositors to exchange their old naira notes for the newly redesigned currency, which has a stipulated deadline of January 31, 2023;

“Aware that Some Nigerians are already envisaging rush and long queues in the banking hall across the country as a result of people trying to get access to the new naira note, which was unveiled last month by President Mohammad Buhari at a brief ceremony at the state house, Abuja.

“Aware also that the old notes are expected to be in circulation alongside the new ones until January 31, 2023, when the old notes are expected to be phased out, it is expected that many Nigerian businesses would start to reject the old notes as soon as the banks start paying out the redesigned notes to customers.

“Observes that access to the new notes may be compounded by the recent circular by the CBN, which limit the amount of cash individuals and corporate entities could withdraw within a certain period of time.

“For instance, the CBN said individuals could only withdraw N100, 000 per week while corporate could only have access to N500, 000 per week through over-the-counter (OTC) transactions.

“Observes that access to large quantities of cash above the limit would attract processing fees of 5 percent and 10 percent for individuals and corporate entities respectively.

“Large withdrawals are also subjected to scrutiny by the regulator to determine the importance and usage of such cash, and convinced that if the withdrawal of old notes from circulation is not extended beyond 31st January many Nigerian will be thrown into hardship and to avoid a repeat of 1984 experience withdrawal of old notes.”

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However, Ndume failed to acknowledge that the CBN had reviewed the cash withdrawal limits across all payment channels by individuals and corporate organizations.

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