Old naira notes: Again, Senate asks CBN to extend deadline to July 31st

The Senate has, again, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately extend the deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes from circulation to July 31, 2023.

The CBN, on December 15, commenced circulating newly redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes and set January 31st, 2023 as deadline for the withdrawal of old notes.

The upper chamber had in December 2022 directed the CBN to extend the deadline but the resolution was shunned by the apex bank.

As the deadline draws nearer,  this has caused panic in many parts of the country with thousands of Nigerians, especially those in rural areas storming banks to exchange the old notes with the new ones.

During debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North) at plenary on Tuesday said the new notes were not enough in circulation, warning that if the deadline was not extended, “there would be chaos in many parts of the country”.

The lawmakers also expressed dismay that the CBN had insisted on the January 31 deadline despite huge public outcries.

The Senate, therefore, asked the CBN to  extend the deadline by six months to allow Nigerians, especially those in rural areas, more time to change their old notes.

The Senate also urged the CBN to compel commercial banks  to open  naira exchange windows for those without bank accounts to exchange their old naira notes.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, assured that the National  Assembly leadership would ensure that the resolution is implemented by the CBN.