Redesigned Naira: Group urges FG to extend Jan. 31 deadline

By Henry Oladele

The Muslim Rights Concern, Sokoto Chapter on Friday appealed to the Federal Government to extend the date for the expiration of the old naira notes.

The appeal is contained in a statement  issued by the Sokoto State Chairman of MURIC, Mr Muhammad Aliyu.

Aliyu appealed to the federal government to extend the deadline by at least two weeks.

“However, this week’s businesses in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara were almost grounded as a result of the Jan. 31 deadline for expiration of old naira notes.

“This is as a result of refusal of traders to accept the old naira notes in commercial transactions.

“This is also because every bank a customer goes, would meet a very long queue of depositors, trying to deposit their old naira notes in an attempt to meet the deadline.

“Businessmen have to be at bank as early as 6 a.m. in order to join long queues at commercial banks to have their old naira notes changed,” he said.

He added that many filling stations and other essential service providers are also closing.

“This has currently made life more difficult to the ordinary citizens.  Many Nigerians have lamented the non-availability and scarcity of the new notes.

“Banks, as of today, are giving the old naira notes to customers with the deadline only a few days away.

“Sequel to the forgoing, we appeal to the Federal Government to reconsider its decision by extending the Jan. 31, deadline for expiration of old naira notes by at least two weeks.

“This will enable Nigerians to swap their old naira with the new naira notes,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that against expectation, the CBN has said the Jan. 31, deadline for the higher denominations of old banknotes to cease to function as legal tender remains sacrosanct.

CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had insisted the apex  bank was going ahead with the set date, saying the 100 days allowed for the public to return the old notes to commercial or other banking agents across the country was enough time for compliance.

He pleaded with all Nigerians to return all the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in their possession to their host banks or nearest banking agents to avoid losing the money completely.

Emefiele said there is adequate quantity of new notes available, but urged understanding with the fact that it is a process.

He said the banknotes are being supplied to the commercial banks as the Nigeria Printing and Minting company produces them.  (NAN)